What To Avoid When Your Child Is Teething

Being a new parent is a daunting task. You are literally in charge of caring for a helpless baby and it can, at times, be frustrating and exhausting, especially when your baby begins teething. All you want to do is take their pain away but you feel powerless. The good news is that teething pain will go away and there are things you can do to soothe it until it does. Smiles in Framingham is here to help you learn about what to avoid when your child is teething.

What is teething?

eruption of your child's teeth

Teething is when your baby’s first teeth are beginning to erupt through their gums. Most babies generally begin teething around six months but some babies start teething even earlier at four months or later after 12 months. And some babies are born with their first baby teeth already visible. Every baby is different, so the timing of teething will vary.

What are signs that my baby may be teething?

  • Crying

Crying is the most common sign that your baby is teething. Though it may not be obvious at the moment because your baby can’t exactly tell you they are feeling pain in their mouth, the crying will worsen in the weeks leading up to the eruption of the first tooth. But it will eventually stop, at least until the next teeth begin emerging.

  • Drooling

Excessive drooling may seem like something that babies just do, but there is a reason for it. And that reason is teething. You may also notice a rash on your baby’s neck, chin, and mouth because of the drooling. This, too, will pass.

  • Biting

Because teething puts pressure on the gums, a baby will try to counter the pressure by biting or chewing. It’s a tell-tale sign of teething, and parents must be vigilant about what their baby is putting in their mouth.

  • Eating Changes

Again, teething causes discomfort, so your baby may not want to eat solid foods or suck from a bottle. This change can be quite sudden and alarming, but it’s normal.

  • Sleeping Changes

Parents won’t like hearing it, but teething pain will keep your baby up at night, which means more crying. And that means little sleep for you, too. But like every other sign of teething, this won’t last forever.

  • Cheek Rubbing and Ear Pulling

If your baby is pulling their ears or rubbing their cheeks, they are probably teething. But this behavior can also be a sign of infection, so consult your child’s doctor if these signs last more than a few days.

How long does teething pain last?

Unfortunately, parents will be dealing with teething pain until their child is two or three years old. That’s when all of your child’s baby teeth will be visible. In the end, seeing your child’s full smile for the first time will make all those teething times worth it.

What can you give your baby for teething pain?

Parents don’t want to see their baby in pain, but there are ways you can help reduce it, both during the day and at night.

  • Gum Massage

Gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger or wet gauze to reduce discomfort.

  • Teething Ring

A cool teething ring or spoon can reduce discomfort and swelling.

  • Pain Medication

Giving pain medication to your baby probably should be a last resort, but if you feel like it’s necessary, give your child a pain medication that is specifically for infants. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you are unsure.

  • Wet Washcloth

A cold washcloth can work like a teething ring to reduce pain and swelling.

  • White Noise

Putting on a little white noise can distract your baby from focusing so much on their discomfort and may lull them to sleep. It’s doesn’t always work but it’s worth a try.

  • Wipe Away Drool

Excessive drooling can cause a rash, which will only add to your baby’s discomfort. Prevent rash by keeping your baby as dry as possible.

What to avoid when your child is teething?

what to avoid when your child is teething

Now that the basics are out of the way, it’s important to know what to avoid when your child is teething. This not only applies to remedies, but also to foods.



  • Spicy foods can irritate your teething child’s gums. Try a blander diet instead.
  • Citrus foods such as oranges are acidic, which can also irritate your teething child’s gums. Serve veggies instead.
  • Frozen hard foods may feel good on your teething child’s gums, but extreme temperatures are harmful. Try popsicles or slushies instead.
  • Salty foods to a teething child are the equivalent of throwing salt in a wound. They cause additional pain so avoid these foods during the teething process.

Figuring out what to avoid when your child is teething doesn’t have to be frustrating. You can always talk to your doctor or your family dentist about what you should and should not do. Some strategies will work better than others because every child is different. Once you have found a strategy that works, you and your baby will feel better.

Contact Smiles In Framingham today!

Dr. Himelhoch and the Smiles in Framingham team are here to help parents soothe their teething children. We specialize in pediatric dentistry and use the most up-to-date techniques and state-of-the-art technology to provide every patient with the best care possible. Our practice proudly serves Framingham, Southborough, Ashland, Wayland, Natick, Marlborough, Hopkinton, Holliston, and surrounding areas in Massachusetts.

We are ready to answer any questions you have about what to avoid when your child is teething. To contact us, call our office at 508-872-0555 or visit our website today!

To all my wonderful patients and their families:


The greatest pleasures of my career are watching children grow strong and healthy and seeing smiles become more beautiful. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a part of that growth and transformation. Now, however, it is time for me to slow down and share the care of my patients.


Starting in September 2022, Smiles in Framingham will merge with Moynihan Dental Specialists. I will remain with the practice, but will reduce my hours and give up administrative responsibilities. The wonderful team of people you and I have come to rely on will be staying. They will continue to help care for you. There will also be new faces, new people who will get to know and care for and about you.


Dr. Michael Moynihan is a second generation dentist and orthodontist practicing in Framingham. Dr. Mike, as he is known, is on the faculty of Boston University in the department of orthodontics. We spent two years as teaching partners supervising the Boston University orthodontic residents as they treated special needs children at Franciscan Hospital for Children. It was during that time I came to appreciate both how skilled Dr. Mike is and how much he cares about his patients. I retired from teaching prior to the pandemic, but Dr. Mike still puts much of his time and energy into teaching the next generation of orthodontists.


I met Dr. Daniel Moynihan when he was my student in 2017. Even at that time he was one of my most conscientious students. He cares deeply about all of his patients and I am proud to be associated with him. Dr. Dan is highly skilled with all aspects of orthodontics, including treatment using Invisalign and other aligners.


Dr. Katherine Moynihan and Dr. Christine Chiao are other members of the Moynihan team. Dr. Katherine Moynihan finished her orthodontic training at Boston University in 2021. Dr. Christine Chiao is a pediatric dentist, who also teaches at the Boston University School of Dental Medicine.


Life is an adventure with many chapters, twists, and turns. I enter this chapter of my life looking forward to what comes next and feeling some sadness that this phase of my life is changing. For now, we will be keeping all appointments as scheduled. We will contact you individually about any appointment changes. All orthodontic contracts will be honored with care provided by the orthodontists. I have every confidence that the doctors of Moynihan Dental Specialists will provide you with excellent care for many years to come.


My very best wishes to all of you,


Dr. Deborah Himelhoch