How To Help Your Teething Child

CUTTING NEW TEETH is never a comfortable experience. Maybe you remember what it was like to get your adult molars, but it’s particularly hard for babies and toddlers who don’t understand why their gums are so sore. It’s hard for parents too, but we’re here to give you the information you need so that you’ll know what to expect while those new teeth come in and how to help your child through it.

Teething Happens In Stages

The first stage of teething is called erupting when the baby teeth begin moving from the jaw bones through the gum tissue. The second stage is called cutting, and this is when the teeth begin to break through the surface of the gums. Both of these stages are commonly painful for babies and toddlers, but they don’t know how to explain this to their parents, which is why they will often act tired, hungry, or picky about their food.

Recognize The Symptoms Of Teething

You can usually expect to see your baby’s first teeth when they’re between four and six months old. However, anything between three and fourteen months is normal, so don’t be too alarmed if your baby’s teeth are taking some extra time to appear. No two children are the same, but some of the most common symptoms of teething include:

  • Avoiding breastfeeding
  • Biting, chewing, and sucking on everything
  • Refusing to bite, chew, or suck on anything
  • Irritability
  • Rejecting foods they usually like
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Excessive drooling

Symptoms that are not common in teething babies include diarrhea, a runny nose, and a fever. These are more likely the symptoms of a virus, and if they persist or get worse, it’s time to see the pediatrician.

Strategies For Soothing A Teething Child

As parents, there’s a lot we can do to help our little ones through the teething process. The first is to continue breastfeeding, if possible. One of the benefits of breast milk is that it reduces the pain of teething. Teething toys will be your child’s best friend. Being able to chew on things helps their teeth cut through the gums, so teething toys are essential.

Choosing The Right Teething Toys

Before you go out and buy a bunch of teething toys, it’s important to know which ones to avoid. Make sure the toys you select are free of PVC, BPA, and phthalates (chemicals that make the toys last longer, but which can be harmful if consumed).

You also want to consider what the toy is made of. Is it solid all the way through, or does it have some kind of gel filling? If the latter, is it sturdy enough that your child won’t chew through it and cause it to leak? Can it be cooled in the fridge? Does it have a clip to fasten it to your child’s clothing? Will it be easy for them to handle?

Bring Us Any Concerns About Teething

If you’d like more information about teething, or if you’ve tried everything and it still doesn’t seem to be enough, we’d be happy to help! Schedule an appointment with us so that we can check that those teeth are coming in on schedule and give you advice on managing your child’s teething discomfort.

We’re here to help your children start their oral health journey right!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Conquering Dental Anxiety

EVEN THOUGH WE know, logically, that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of staying healthy, many of us don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some people, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome their dental anxieties and fears.
Dental Anxiety Statistics: You Are Not Alone
Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better (for your wallet as well as your health) to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.
Why Does Dental Anxiety Happen?
A lot of people who avoid the dentist due to dental anxiety or fear do so because of a previous negative experience they had that soured them on the concept of dentistry altogether. The feeling of not being in control is another reason people might be nervous. We understand this, and we’re dedicated to helping our patients feel comfortable so that they can move forward with the right professional oral health care to keep their teeth strong and healthy for life.
History and Pop Culture Skew Versus Modern Dentistry
If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before World War II made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least. The field has come a long way since then, even though movies and TV haven’t done much to update cultural expectations. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients.
Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety
There are a few things you can do to reduce your dental anxiety.
Come visit our practice before your appointment, especially if this is your first time coming in. Familiarize yourself with our space and members of our staff so that it doesn’t seem so foreign on appointment day. You might even want to bring someone you trust along with you.
Learn as much as you can about what happens in a typical dental appointment. If you take away the mystery, it will help you regain a sense of control.
Talk to us about your anxiety. When we know this is something you struggle with, there’s more we can do to help you.
Bring a distraction like headphones and a playlist of relaxing music to your appointment.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.