Can Hot Food Bother a Teething Baby?

By April Sanders
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Teething babies are fussy, and no wonder. It's not an easy or painless thing to push a tooth through the soft, sensitive tissues of your gums. Comfort and ease your baby's pain by choosing foods that won't make the pain worse, and by preparing those foods at safe temperatures.

Some Like It Hot

Babies usually teeth between the ages of 6 and 18 months, which means that babies who are accustomed to eating solid foods may suddenly balk at eating those foods due to teething pain. This may include hard foods and foods that are prepared hot. While it is important to thoroughly cook some foods, your best bet is to heat the food and then let it cool before serving it to your teething baby. Babies have sensitive mouth tissues anyway, so this really applies to all babies -- teething or not. It's especially important to let food cool if you heat it up in the microwave, as it may heat unevenly. Stir hot food thoroughly, and then let it cool to room temperature.

Some Like It Spicy

Hot food may also refer to spicy food. Whether or not spicy food bothers your teething baby may depend on how sensitive your baby's palate is. Our tongues and guts have pain receptors that are triggered by some foods such as hot peppers, according to LiveScience. If your baby has been raised on spicy foods, he probably won't be bothered by them when he is teething. If spicy foods are new to your baby, introduce them gradually and in small amounts. Whether or not they bother him will not depend on his teething, but more on his personal preferences and on the sensitivity of his mouth tissues.

Cold Eases Pain

If hot food bothers a teething baby, then the opposite might be true -- cold food soothes a teething baby. This is actually the case, according to the Mayo Clinic. Cool -- not cold, which can be too much for sensitive gums -- will sooth a sore mouth. Yogurt or teething biscuits cooled in the refrigerator are good choices, as are chilled teething rings and cold cloth rags. Although the latter two are not food, they are still soothing and will give your baby something to chew on that lasts longer than food.

Other Teething Tips

Hard foods, such as cold carrots and celery sticks, can also soothe a teething baby. Babies love to chew on cold food items when they are teething. In the case of hard foods, however, the baby might break off a chunk -- depending on how many teeth he has -- which can be a choking hazard. If you choose to give your baby cold, hard foods while he is teething, be sure to watch him carefully so that he does not chew on them. This also applies to frozen grapes, which should be cut in half before given to the baby.

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