Ask a Dentist

Q: What's the safest way to soothe my teething baby?

Baby chewing on an alphabet block

A: The safest way to soothe your teething baby’s tender gums is with at-home remedies. Use homemade gum-soothing popsicles, cold cloths or gentle pressure applied with your finger.

Avoid teething gels with benzocaine. The FDA warns benzocaine may lead to methemoglobinemia, which is a potentially fatal medical condition that takes away oxygen from the blood. We don’t recommend using other liquid-filled teethers, which may burst. Teething rings and amber teething necklaces are potential choking hazards if they fall apart.

For healthy homemade gum-soothing popsicles, puree vegetables or fruit. Try strawberries, bananas, or watermelon.  Place the pureed fruit or veggies in a popsicle tray and into your freezer. You can also freeze breast milk or baby formula. If pureeing is not your thing, get a mesh feeding pouch and fill it with frozen fruits.

If you don’t have a popsicle tray handy, dampen a cloth in tea or water instead of fruit juice to avoid the extra sugar. Place the dampened cloth in your freezer until it’s chilled (not frozen hard). When your baby sucks on the chilled cloth it will have a sense of relief on those sore gums.

Remember not to give your baby hard foods when they’re under 4 months old. Wait until your baby is about 4 to 6 months old when it is safer for them to have hard foods.

Teething can be a trying time for you and your baby. Remember to schedule a first check-up appointment when your baby gets their first teeth. If you have any concerns about your baby’s oral health let’s talk next time you visit one of our Winnipeg clinics, located at St. Vital Centre and Garden City Shopping Centre. Schedule an appointment with us today.