If you are about to have your first child, you are likely making a list of important pediatrician appointments. It's important to include a pediatric dentistry appointment on that list. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says that children should see the dentist by 12 months or when their first tooth erupts (usually around 4 to 6 months), but many parents wait until their child is almost two. It's important to visit the dentist during these early months while the baby is teething.
What is Teething?
Teething starts with the eruption of that first baby tooth and continues until all of your baby's primary teeth cut through the gumline. Some parents are lucky, and their baby may not have much pain or symptoms during teething.
However, teething usually causes babies to become irritable, and they typically manifest at least a few symptoms, such as
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Inflamed gums
- Frequent drooling
- The need to suck on a pacifier
- Ear rubbing or grabbing (teething can cause pain in the ear canal, which is relieved by this action)
How Can a Pediatric Dentist Help?
First off, he or she can make sure your baby's symptoms are actually related to teething. Your child may have a fever, a cold, or another illness that can cause similar symptoms. If your child has many teeth erupting, he or she could be suffering from "baby bottle syndrome," a common term for decay caused by milk sugars.
If your child has an illness, the dentist can send you on to another specialist. If the baby has decay, your dentist can discuss options such as dietary changes, fluoride supplements or varnish, more frequent checkups, and so on.
If the symptoms are caused by teething, then the dentist can recommend products, like teething rings, that can help your child ease their pain. He or she could also prescribe a pain reliever.
What Can You Do At Home to Help?
There are many DIY solutions to help your baby. For instance, you could chill a baby's pacifier. Make sure you don't freeze the pacifier, as a frozen pacifier can crack teeth and cause an ice burn on the baby's tongue and cheeks. You can also offer your baby a wet washcloth to suck on, or you can gently massage your baby's gums. Make sure your hands are clean and use a moist gauze to massage the gums. If you aren't sure how to do this, your pediatric dentist can show you how.
Visit websites like http://www.childrensdent.com for more information.