Teething can be as uncomfortable for the parents as it is for the 1-year old. A baby tooth cuts a painful path through your child’s gum, causing discomfort, pain, swelling and drooling. Your child probably got her first tooth between 4 and 7 months old, when it was easy to massage her pain away. Massaging an infant’s gum while she gets her first tooth is much safer than sticking your finger into the toothy mouth of a cranky 1-year old in pain. You’ll have to get creative in finding teething remedies for a 1-year old.
Chewing applies pressure to the gums, helping the teeth cut through tissue. Let your toddler chew on breadsticks or bread hardened in the oven. Freeze bread like bagels for your child to chew on during hot days. Giving your 1-year old frozen fruit and vegetables provides a cold teething remedy combined with good nutrition. A 1-year old can easily hold a frozen banana but you should always supervise her while she eats frozen fruits and vegetables. She may have already developed her top and bottom front teeth, enabling her to break off chunks of food large enough to pose a choking hazard.
Rings of Relief
Provide teething rings and other toys for your toddler to gum during times of teething pain. Put these toys in the refrigerator or freezer for a short time to enhance the effect. Do not encourage your child to suck on toys, as the sucking action causes blood to rush into your baby’s gums, resulting in pressure and pain. Do not freeze the teething toys, as they will become hard enough that they can damage your youngster's gums.
Some discomfort from teething stems from skin irritation on your child’s chin caused by excessive drooling that is associated with teething. Your child’s body reacts to swollen gums by increasing salivary production. Prevent chafing and a rash by keeping your child’s chin dry or by applying petroleum jelly before bed and after her bath.
Power of Distraction
Keep your child preoccupied as much as possible to reduce symptoms. Complaints of pain and irritability often increase at night, when your toddler has time to dwell on the discomfort. Sleepless nights lead to restless days, exacerbating the discomfort associated with teething.
Talk to your child's health care provider about over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling due to teething. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned one homeopathic teething remedy in October of 2010 because it contained belladonna which, in high doses, can cause seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, muscle weakness and other serious symptoms. Furthermore, the FDA advises against the use of pain-relieving gels that contain benzocaine. If your child does not respond to your efforts to soothe his discomfort, consult with your pediatrician to rule out illness like an ear infection.