4 Useful Tips and Tricks for Your Teething Toddler

Every parent knows that the toddler years are packed with milestones. One of the most notable—and often challenging—of these milestones is teething. Between the ages of 13 and 19 months, those teething toddler smiles are set to evolve as the first set of molars make their grand entrance.

Then, as if on cue, just around their second birthday, the second set of molars starts to emerge, marking another round of teething adventures. For some little ones, this process might go by like a breeze, but for many, teething comes with a parade of symptoms and discomfort. If you’re facing any concerns or questions about your child’s teething journey, it’s a good idea to consult Belleville Pediatric Dentistry for expert guidance and support.

Tip #1: Cold Foods and Drinks for Teething Relief

Every teething toddler has their own unique signs of discomfort, and for many, a dose of cold can be the perfect remedy. Cold foods and drinks serve a dual purpose: they are not only a delightful treat but also a source of soothing relief for those swollen, tender gums.

teething toddler

Understanding the Cold

Why does it work? Much like an ice pack provides relief to a sore muscle, the coolness of these snacks numbs the sore gums, offering temporary relief from the incessant teething pain.

Some Top Cold Snack Recommendations:

  • Chilled Applesauce or Smashed Bananas – Gentle on the gums, tasty, and filled with vital nutrients, these snacks are a win-win, ensuring that your toddler gets both relief and nourishment.
  • Frozen Yogurt Tubes – These are both entertaining and comforting. Opt for those with minimal sugar to ensure dental health isn’t compromised.
  • Ice Water in a Sippy Cup – This is a simple solution that often works wonders. The cold water soothes, and the sippy cup format minimizes potential messes.
  • Chilled Fruit in a Mesh Feeder – A great way for your toddler to get the soothing benefits of cold without the choking risk of larger fruit pieces.
  • Homemade Popsicles – Made with your toddler’s favorite fruit juices, these are sure to be a hit, and they’re excellent for gum relief.

Safety Reminder

The idea of using ice cubes might be tempting, but they can be a choking hazard for toddlers. Always prioritize safety by offering ice water in a spill-proof cup with a lid or simply serving cold water without the ice.

Tip #2: Chewing and Teething Toddler Toys 

The urge to chew is natural for a teething toddler. It isn’t just about the discomfort; the act of chewing provides counterpressure against the gums, which can be quite soothing as those new molars push through. 

Why Chewing Helps

When a new tooth is working its way out, applying pressure can counteract the pressure coming from below the gums. This counterpressure offers relief and is why your toddler instinctively wants to chew on everything in sight.

Toys to consider:

  • Silicone-Based Toys – These are a favorite in many households. Silicone is soft, ensuring no harm to those little teeth or gums, yet firm enough to provide that essential counterpressure. For an added soothing effect, refrigerate these toys before handing them over to your little one.
  • Cold Washcloths – If you’re caught off-guard and don’t have a teething toy at hand, a simple home remedy is to take a clean washcloth, wet it, and then refrigerate. Once chilled, it can be an effective tool for your toddler to chew on.

A Word of Caution 

While there’s a plethora of teething toys available on the market, be cautious about those filled with liquid or gel. They might break under the pressure of your toddler’s bite, especially if they have several teeth already. Additionally, when frozen, these toys can become too hard and could harm your toddler’s delicate gums.

Tip #3: Gentle Gum Massages for Comfort

Sometimes, the simplest gestures can provide the most relief. A gentle massage can be a significant source of comfort for a teething toddler, addressing the discomfort right at its source.

How It Helps a Teething Toddler

Massaging the gums stimulates blood flow to the area, which can help reduce pain and inflammation. The gentle pressure also provides a counteractive force against those emerging molars, bringing temporary relief.

Steps to a Soothing Gum Massage:

  • Hygiene First: Before you begin, ensure your hands are clean and your nails are short to avoid any unintentional nicks.
  • Cool Your Fingers: Run cold water over your fingers or hold an ice cube for a few seconds (then discard). This added chill will enhance the soothing effect.
  • Gentle Circular Motions: Using your finger, apply mild pressure and massage in circular motions. Your toddler will let you know how much pressure is comfortable.teething toddler

Perfect Timing

Consider giving your teething toddler a gum massage before meals. This can reduce their discomfort and make eating a more pleasant experience. It can also be a calming bedtime routine, setting the stage for a more restful night’s sleep.


However, remember that every toddler is different. While some may find a gum massage heavenly, others might not be too keen. Always follow your little one’s cues. 

Tip #4: Nursing and Breastfeeding as a Natural Source of Comfort 

Breastfeeding is more than just a source of nutrition for babies; it’s also a profound source of comfort, especially during challenging times like teething. The familiar act of nursing can offer solace, even to a teething toddler.

Why Nursing Helps

The act of sucking itself can be soothing, and the warmth and closeness to the mother can help distract a child from the pain. Plus, breastmilk has natural pain-relieving properties, which can assist during this time.

Strategies and Tips:

  • Stay Flexible: Some toddlers might want to nurse more frequently during teething, while others might pull away because of gum discomfort. It’s essential to be patient and flexible with your child’s changing nursing patterns.
  • Breastmilk Popsicles: If direct nursing becomes a challenge due to increased sensitivity, consider creating breastmilk popsicles. They’re a great way to offer the comfort of your milk while providing a cold, soothing remedy for their gums.
  • Gentle Reminders: Teething toddlers might sometimes have a tendency to bite during nursing. A firm yet gentle reminder and consistent reactions can help them understand that biting is not acceptable.


Whether you’re still in the breastfeeding phase or have transitioned to other feeding methods, the key is consistency and comfort. It’s essential to ensure your child feels secure and understood during this trying period. 

Need Expert Care for Your Teething Toddler in Belleville, NJ?

At Belleville Pediatric Dentistry, we prioritize your child’s dental health and comfort. Our child-friendly environment ensures they get the best care from the start. Don’t navigate teething alone. Join the Belleville family today!

🌟 Book Your Appointment with Belleville Pediatric Dentistry Now! 🌟

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