Navigating Teething: Relief Tips and Oral Care for Babies Salthouse Smiles

Pediatric Dentist in St. Louis, MO

Teething is a significant milestone in a baby’s growth, often accompanied by discomfort and irritability. At Salthouse Smiles in Des Peres, MO, led by Dr. Corbin Salthouse, we understand the challenges teething presents for both babies and parents. This article aims to provide helpful tips on navigating this phase with ease, focusing on relief methods and oral care practices.

Understanding Teething

Teething typically begins around six months of age but can start as early as three months or as late as twelve months. During this period, babies may show signs of discomfort as their teeth push through the gums. Common symptoms include increased drooling, a desire to chew on hard objects, irritability, and occasionally, a mild temperature increase.

Relief Tips for Teething Babies

  • Teething Toys: Safe, soft teething toys can provide significant relief. These toys are designed to be chewed on, offering a counter-pressure that soothes sore gums.
  • Cold Items: Chilled (not frozen) items like a cold washcloth, spoon, or teether can offer comfort. The cold helps numb the gums and reduce inflammation.
  • Gentle Massage: Gently rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger can provide temporary relief from the pain.
  • Pain Relief Medication: If your baby is especially uncomfortable, consult with a pediatrician about using pain relief medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Distraction Techniques: Sometimes, distraction with toys, a warm bath, or extra cuddles can help alleviate your baby’s focus on the discomfort.

Oral Care During Teething

As soon as the first tooth appears, it’s important to start oral care:

  • Cleaning Baby Teeth: Use a soft, small-bristled toothbrush designed for babies with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to clean their teeth twice a day.
  • Avoid Sugary Liquids: Avoid prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, like in bottles, especially before sleep, to prevent tooth decay.
  • First Dental Visit: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the first tooth appears, but no later than a child’s first birthday. This visit is crucial for Dr. Salthouse and the team at Salthouse Smiles to check for any early issues with your baby’s oral health and to advise you on teething and oral care.

Coping with Teething

Teething is a temporary phase but can be challenging. Here are some additional tips for coping:

  • Routine: Maintain a regular sleeping and eating routine to provide your baby with a sense of normalcy.
  • Parental Care: Parents should also take care of themselves. Remember to rest when you can and reach out for support if needed.
  • Educational Resources: Stay informed about teething and infant oral care. At Salthouse Smiles, we’re happy to provide resources and support.


Teething is a natural part of development, and while it can be a tough time, it’s also an exciting sign of your baby’s growth. At Salthouse Smiles, we’re dedicated to supporting families in Des Peres, MO, through every stage of their child’s dental development. For more personalized advice or to schedule your baby’s first dental visit, contact us at Salthouse Smiles. We’re here to ensure that your child’s journey to a healthy smile is as comfortable and joyful as possible.