Wellness Matters

6 Safe Ways to Ease Baby’s Teething Pain

October 21, 2016

Teething for babies is painful. This is so obvious to every parent who has witnessed the crying, irritability and grouchiness their children display during this process. Parents want to use whatever tools and techniques that are available to provide relief. Be cautious because one of these tools may not be so safe.

Recently the U.S. Food and Drug administration recommended the immediate disuse of homeopathic teething gels and tablets. The chemical in question is called benzocaine, known to cause seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating or agitation. Products containing benzocaine are distributed by retail outlets and available online. Make sure you read all labels of anything that goes into your baby’s body.

Knowing that teething hurts, what can adults do to soothe a baby’s teething pain? Here are six tried and true methods of soothing teething pain.
  1. Gum massage – put your clean finger along the baby’s gums and apply counter pressure
  2. Cold spoon – keep a spoon in the refrigerator (not freezer, a frozen spoon will stick to skin). Apply the rounded part to the gums. Use caution if any teeth have broken through the gum as it could chip a tooth.
  3. Frozen washcloth – place a washcloth dipped in water, breastmilk or chamomile tea into the freezer. Once frozen or chilled, let your baby gnaw to his or her heart’s content.
  4. Cold foods – If already on solids, feed your baby cold applesauce or yogurt.
  5. Chilled teether – A teether is a piece of plastic meant for a baby to chew on. Placing a teether in the fridge for 30 minutes before giving it to your baby can increase its soothing power.
  6. Vibrating teether – these gently vibrate when bitten, so your baby gets gum stimulation when they nibble. 
As with anything foreign that babies may put in their mouths, make sure it is BPA free and regularly sanitized.

Teething is part of the natural maturation process. Once those teeth break through the gums, your baby will feel much better. Until then, they will suffer some discomfort. The best thing you can do is provide temporary relief that is safe for your baby.

About the Author

Cherece Grier, MD is a pediatrician at Cone Health Center for Children , a Cone Health Medical Group practice.


  1. More serious conditions such as an ear infection should not be confused with teething. If a child has a fever, is holding his ear(s), has considerable drooling or runny nose, is lethargic,etc. it is time to get to the medical doctor. It may not be a teething problem, it may be more serious