Teething begins around 6 months, and by the age of 3, your toddler will have more than 20 teeth. Every tooth that comes in, from the front incisors to the back molars, is likely to cause some degree of discomfort. Many of the ways you soothed your little one's teething pain as an infant are still applicable but, because she now has more teeth and is more developmentally advanced, you can also use other methods to provide comfort.
Chomping on chilled foods can help soothe the aching associated with newly erupted teeth. Try foods that are firm but not rock-hard, such as peeled apples, sweet peppers and pieces of cucumber. Always watch your toddler and make sure the pieces of food you provide are small enough for her to chew safely. Just encourage her to suck or chew on the food and don't pressure her into actually eating it unless she wants to. Also, avoid starchy "teething snacks" like teething biscuits or teething cookies, which can contribute to dental decay, according to BestChance.gov.
Chilled teething toys aren't just for infants. However, since your toddler now has an entire mouthful of sharp teeth, he's more likely to chew through or damage the gel-filled rings he enjoyed as an infant. Be sure to regularly inspect his teething toys so you can replace any that appear worn or slightly cracked before he chews through the plastic and ingests the liquid inside. Letting him chew on a clean, chilled wet washcloth can also alleviate discomfort.
Cutting teeth makes gums sore and sensitive, which can cause your otherwise cheerful toddler to become irritable. If teething rings and cold foods aren't helping, speak with your doctor about giving her children's acetaminophen or ibuprofen. While teething is often blamed for a fever, according to MayoClinic.com, if your tot has a fever, it means there's something else going on besides teething, which may require a doctor's advice.
Depending on the severity of his discomfort, your teething toddler is likely to require some extra comforting attention. Extra cuddles are always good, but while you're waiting for the medicine to kick in, you may want to spend time snuggling with your tyke while reading storybooks or watching her favorite show as she noshes on a teething ring or a wedge of cold fruit.
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