What's best for my daughter to chew while her teeth are coming in?
Q: I know my baby needs to chew while her teeth are coming in, but I'm not sure on what. People have suggested cold washcloths, teething rings, baby biscuits, frozen bagels, even carrots! What's best?
A: Most dentists are quick to recommend teething rings, particularly the water-filled kind that can be refrigerated so they're cooling to the gums. Food-based teethers should be used sparingly, because they leave a residue that can cause tooth decay (and, in the case of foods such as chilled carrots or apple slices, carry an additional risk of choking). "Anytime you eat or drink anything other than water, you produce acids that draw minerals out of the teeth," explains Kayron Dube, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist in Houston. "When you don't eat or drink for three hours, those minerals get replenished. That can't happen if a baby is constantly gnawing on teething biscuits or sipping on a bottle full of anything but water."