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Baby Teething Pain

Baby Teething Pain

Discomfort from teething, which may begin as early as 3 months, can wake a baby. The gums around the emerging teeth may be swollen and tender.

How To Ease Your Baby’s Teething Pain:

Chew Toys

  • Plastic and rubber toys are great for soothing aching gums. Note: Teething necklaces and bracelets are made of amber, wood, marble or silicone are choking and strangulation hazards; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against them.

Cold Things

  • For help numbing and easing the ache and inflammation, try using damp washcloths that have been twisted and frozen (tie one end in a knot for better gnawing). Avoid teething rings that are frozen solid; they are too hard for children’s mouths.

Massage

  • A light, gentle rub or massage might give your little one a lot of relief. Remember to wash your hands, then massage the sore areas in your baby’s mouth with your finger or knuckle.

Side Effects Of Teething:

Fever, Vomiting, Diarrhea

  • When your baby’s teeth are coming through, she may also have a very slight increase in temperature. But if her temperature reaches 100.4°F (38°C) or above, it’s not because of teething. If your baby has symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or diarrhea while teething, consult your pediatrician to find out whether she has a medical condition requiring treatment.

Keep Usual Bedtime Routine:

If your teething baby is irritable, try to make her comfortable, but keep to your usual bedtime routine. Changing the routine, even for a few nights, may only lead to sleep troubles.

Breastfeeding After Your Baby Gets Teeth

Breastfeeding After Your Baby Gets Teeth

Your baby’s first tooth probably will appear after six months, though some babies are born with one or more teeth and in other cases teeth don’t appear until the child is almost a year old. Many mothers decide that it’s time to stop breastfeeding when they first notice a tooth. Usually this is because the baby has nipped the breast at the end of a feeding session or because the mother fears she will be bitten. Yet many babies with teeth (or those who are teething) never bite when breastfeeding.

Did You Know: An actively nursing baby will not bite, because her tongue covers her lower teeth. A baby who nips the breast as he starts to pull away near the end of a feeding can be taught to stop. Try not to let this minor challenge get in the way of breastfeeding so early in your nursing relationship.

How To Prevent A Breastfeeding Baby From Biting

  • If your baby has sprouted a tooth and you are concerned that she may nip you as a feeding ends: Keep your finger ready to break the suction and remove your breast as soon as her rhythmic suckling stops (and before she starts to drift off or feel playful).
  • If she has already bitten: Say no firmly and then remove her from your breast. Try to keep this action as bland and matter-of-fact as possible. Too much anger or even amusement may interest her enough to make her want to repeat the experiment again. Once she realizes that biting means no more breast, she will learn to stifle the impulse. (Meanwhile, don’t forget to offer her a one-piece teething ring when she is not nursing.)

How To Prevent Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay

Once your baby’s teeth have begun to come in, it is important to keep in mind that even breastfeeding babies are sometimes susceptible to baby-bottle tooth decay (BBTD), a major cause of dental cavities in infants that can also cause serious damage to permanent teeth later on. BBTD results from teeth being coated in almost any liquid other than water for long periods, and occurs most commonly among babies who are put to bed with a bottle of formula or juice.

Research shows that human milk by itself does not promote tooth decay. But breastfeeding infants who fall asleep while nursing with unswallowed milk in their mouths are also vulnerable to tooth decay. Beyond the first year, dental caries—tooth decay—can occur in toddlers who receive sugary liquids in a bottle or who are nursing and eating foods with sugar and carbohydrates. Make a point of removing your breast from your baby’s mouth once she has fallen asleep.

Tips To Promote Dental Health Right From The Start

Your dentist will check your baby’s teeth during the first year of life and beyond.

  • To stimulate healthy gums and good oral hygiene: Wipe the gums at least once a day, beginning at birth, even before any teeth have erupted in your child’s mouth.
  • After teeth erupt: Wiping her gums and teeth with a piece of gauze or a damp cloth after feedings and before bedtime will help maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Once you are able brushing: Start using a smear (grain of rice sized) amount of fluoridated toothpaste and a soft bristled, child-sized toothbrush for daily cleaning (two times per day).
    • Fluoride is an important way to protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Your pediatrician or dentist can help guide you on the optimal amount of fluoride for your child. It is important to use fluoridated toothpaste in the appropriate amounts for age, drink water with fluoride (most tap water), and have your child’s pediatrician or dentist apply fluoride varnish as needed.
  • Try to take your baby to the dentist by age 1: You can form a relationship with your dentist to help keep your baby’s mouth healthy.

Pregnancy And Oral Health: Truth Or Fiction?

Pregnancy And Oral Health: Truth Or Fiction?

Many beliefs related to pregnancy and oral health have passed from generation to generation.

Q. Do Women Really Lose A Tooth With Each Pregnancy?

  • A common belief is that women lose a tooth with each pregnancy. But with good oral hygiene and professional oral health care, pregnant women’s teeth can stay healthy.

Q. Does An Unborn Baby Really Steal His Or Her Mom’s Calcium? 

  • Another common belief is that the unborn baby takes calcium from a woman’s teeth, which causes tooth decay. This is not true. During pregnancy, women may be at greater risk for developing tooth decay because they eat more frequently to prevent nausea. Tooth decay is 100% preventable. But, if left untreated, tooth decay can cause toothaches and can lead to tooth loss.

Q. Are Pregnant Women Really At A Higher Risk For Gingivitis?

  • When women are pregnant, their bodies go through complicated changes. Many notices that their gums are sore, puffy, and prone to bleeding. These are symptoms of gingivitis, an infection of the gum tissue. Anyone can develop gingivitis. But pregnant women are at higher risk for gingivitis because of hormonal changes. If gingivitis is not treated, it may lead to a more serious gum disease that can, in turn, lead to tooth loss.

Q. How Can Pregnant Women Prevent Tooth Decay And Gingivitis?

  • The best way for pregnant women to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis is to keep their teeth and gums clean. Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, flossing once a day, and getting a professional dental cleaning is the best way to keep pregnant women’s teeth and gums healthy. Avoiding foods that are high in sugar also helps.

If tooth decay is present, treatment in a dental office is the only way it can be stopped. If tooth decay and gingivitis are prevented or treated, there is no reason for pregnant women to lose teeth.

Baby’s First Tooth: 7 Facts Parents Should Know

Baby’s First Tooth: 7 Facts Parents Should Know

1.  Most Babies Will Develop Teeth Between 6 And 12 Months.

There is a wide range of variability of when a first tooth may appear—some babies may not have any teeth by their first birthday! Around 3 months of age, babies will begin exploring the world with their mouth and have increased saliva and start to put their hands in their mouth. Many parents question whether or not this means that their baby is teething, but a first tooth usually appears around 6 months old. Typically, the first teeth to come in are almost always the lower front teeth (the lower central incisors), and most children will usually have all of their baby teeth by age 3.

2.  Fluoride Should Be Added To Your Child’s Diet At 6 Months Of Age.

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by hardening the enamel of teeth. The good news is that fluoride is often added to tap water. Give your baby a few ounces of water in a sippy or straw cup when you begin him or her on solid foods (about 6 months of age). Speak with your pediatrician/dentist to see if your tap water contains fluoride or whether your child needs fluoride supplements. Fluoride is not typically found in most bottled water. See FAQ: Fluoride and Children for more information.

3.  Massaging Sore Gums, Offering Something Cold, Or Acetaminophen, On An Occasional Rough Night, Can Help Soothe Your Baby’s Teething Pain.

Usually teething doesn’t cause children too much discomfort, however, many parents can tell when their baby is teething. Babies may show signs of discomfort in the area where the tooth is coming in, the gums around the tooth may be swollen and tender, and the baby may drool a lot more than usual.

Parents can help ease teething pain by massaging their baby’s gums with clean fingers, offering solid, not liquid-filled, teething rings, or a clean frozen or wet washcloth. If you offer a teething biscuit, make sure to watch your baby while he or she is eating it. Chunks can break off easily and can lead to choking. Also, these biscuits are not very nutritious and most contain sugar and salt.

A baby’s body temperature may slightly rise when teething; however, according to a 2016 study in Pediatrics, a true fever (temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius) is not associated with teething and is actually a sign of an illness or infection that may require treatment. If your baby is clearly uncomfortable, talk with your pediatrician about giving a weight-appropriate dose of acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or if over 6 months, ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). Make sure to ask your pediatrician for the right dose in milliliters (mL) based on your child’s age and weight.

Many children, however, will have no problems at all when their teeth come in!

4.  Do Not Use Teething Tablets, Gels With Benzocaine, Homeopathic Teething Gels Or Tablets, Or Amber Teething Necklaces.

Stay away from teething tablets that contain the plant poison belladonna and gels with benzocaine. Belladonna and benzocaine are marketed to numb your child’s pain, but the FDA has issued warnings against both due to potential side effects.

In addition, amber teething necklaces are not recommended. Necklaces placed around an infant’s neck can pose a strangulation risk or be a potential choking hazard. There is also no research to support the necklace effectiveness.

5.  You Should Brush Your Child’s Teeth Twice A Day With Fluoride Toothpaste.

Once your child has a tooth, you should be brushing them twice a day with a smear of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice, especially after the last drink or food of the day. Remember not to put your baby to bed with a bottle—it can lead to tooth decay.

Once your child turns 3, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)recommend that a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste be used when brushing. When your child is able, teach him or her to spit out the excess toothpaste. It is best if you put the toothpaste on the toothbrush until your child is about age 6. Parents should monitor and assist their child while brushing until he or she is around 7 or 8 years old. When your child can write his or her name well, he or she also has the ability to brush well.

6.  Ask Your Dentist About Your Baby’s Teeth And Fluoride Varnish.

During dental visits, your dentist will check your baby’s teeth and gums to ensure they are healthy and talk to you about how to keep them that way.  The AAP and the United States Preventive Services Task Force also recommend that children receive fluoride varnish once they have teeth.  Varnish can be applied in the dental office. The earlier your child receives fluoride varnish the better to help prevent tooth decay.

7.  Make Your First Dental Appointment When The First Tooth Appears.

Try to make your baby’s first dental appointment after the eruption of the first tooth and by his or her first birthday.

Both the AAP and the ADA recommend that all children see a dentist and establish a “dental home” by age one. A pediatric dentist will make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems. He or she will also give you further advice on proper hygiene. If you don’t have a pediatric dentist in your community, find a general dentist who is comfortable seeing young children.