Posts for: February, 2017
Teething is an important phase in your baby's dental maturity. During the approximate two-year process, they will acquire their first set of teeth.
It can also be an unpleasant two years as each tooth sequentially breaks through the gums. The severity of teething problems differs with each child, but there are common signs: irritability, biting and gnawing, chin rash, drooling or ear rubbing among them. Although for most babies the discomfort isn't that great, the pain can occasionally be a lot for them — and their care-givers — to handle.
Although having a very unhappy infant can be nerve-jangling, there's no real cause for concern health-wise. If, however, they begin to run a fever or experience diarrhea, that could be a sign of something more serious. In those cases, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Otherwise, there are some things you can do to make them more comfortable during teething episodes. One thing to remember: cold items for biting or gnawing usually work wonders. So, be sure you have chilled teething rings or pacifiers (but not frozen — the extreme temperature could burn their gums). For older children, an occasional cold food like a popsicle can bring relief.
You can also try massaging the gums with your clean finger, which will help counteract the pressure of an erupting tooth. But avoid rubbing alcohol or aspirin on the gums, and you shouldn't apply numbing agents to children less than two years of age unless advised by your doctor.
If their pain persists, it's permissible to give them a mild pain reliever like the appropriate dosage for their age of baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Again, you should give this by mouth and avoid rubbing it on the gums.
By the time they're three, all their primary teeth should be in and teething symptoms should have largely dissipated. In the meantime, make them as comfortable as you can â?? in no time the unpleasantness of teething will pass.
If you would like more information on coping with your child's teething, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teething Troubles: How to Help Keep your Baby Comfortable.”
Find out what issues to look out for and when to visit us for treatment.
While some common dental issues may not always be obvious sometimes people will experience symptoms letting them know that something just isn’t right. From the office of our Framingham, MA dentists, Dr. James Cinamon and Dr. Paul Hubley, find out the most common types of oral diseases, the signs to look out for and when you might need to take a trip to our office.
Gum disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the gums. Of course, if left untreated it can also lead to tooth and bone loss. Fortunately, there is a way to catch this problem during its early stages. How? By coming in to visit our Framingham general dentist every six months for routine cleanings. During these exams, we can detect even the earliest signs of an issue to prevent it from getting worse or even reverse it.
Of course, if you notice any of these problems then you need to give us a call right away:
- Gums that are red, swollen or tender
- Gums that bleed, particularly when eating, brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gum line
- A change in your bite
- Teeth that suddenly become sensitive to hot or cold
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
While the words “oral cancer” can be rather scary to think about we are here to tell you that coming in for routine exams (do you sense a pattern?) is one of the best ways to ensure that if there is an issue that we catch it early on so that we can treat it right away. During these routine visits, we can also perform oral cancer screenings. These screenings are painless and only take a couple minutes to complete. If you start to experience any of these symptoms between regular dental visits then it’s time to give us a call:
- An oral sore that doesn’t go away
- Persistent mouth pain
- A lump or growth in the cheek or other oral tissue
- A white or red patch in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pain or difficulty moving jaws
- Pain or numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
- Persistent hoarseness
- Chronic bad breath
Don’t let oral disease ruin your dental health. At the first sign of trouble make sure to give us a call. Better yet, make sure you are keeping up with those six-month dental cleanings and exams where our Framingham, MA family dentist will be able to detect issues in their earliest stages.
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods. Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”