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The Ultimate Teething Survival Guide

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The Ultimate Teething Survival Guide

A baby’s (and new parent’s) life is full of firsts: first smile, first steps, first word, and of course, first tooth! As Denver pediatric dentists, we know how exciting all of these little milestones are. We also know there’s a lot to learn about keeping your little one happy as they go through a million changes — especially the more uncomfortable experiences like teething.

While it’s exciting to see your baby’s first tiny tooth appear, teething can be a challenging time for both parents and child. Your little one is going to experience some discomfort as his or her smile begins to take shape, so you might be in for a few sleepless nights (and a whole lot of drool!). The doctors at Kids Mile High are here to support you and your baby throughout the teething process. Read on for everything you need to know about what to expect, what not to do, and how to keep your baby as comfortable as possible.

What to Expect When Your Baby is Teething

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when your baby will get her first tooth. For some babies, the first tooth erupts as early as three months, while others remain toothless until after their first birthday. But for most infants, teething symptoms will start before the appearance of any pearly whites. That’s because your baby’s teeth are already beginning to form beneath the surface.

Most babies will experience some level of discomfort during the teething process, but some lucky kiddos (and parents!) will have little to no symptoms. If you’re not sure whether your baby has started teething, here are a few telltale signs:

  • Excess drooling
  • Irritability and fussiness
  • Gumming and biting objects
  • Refusing to eat
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Ear pulling and cheek rubbing

Safe Remedies for a Teething Baby

Naturally, a teething baby is going to experience swollen, tender and painful gums. When it comes to soothing your baby during this time, there are plenty of safe, at-home teething remedies you can try. Here are some ways to alleviate teething pain for your child:

  • Chewing: As your baby has probably already been showing you, chewing can help to relieve pain from teething. Chewing, or gumming, applies counter-pressure to developing teeth as they work their way to the surface. Give your baby teething rings or plush teething toys made from safe materials, free from BPA, phthalate, latex and PVC. Cold objects are even more effective against teething pain, so put teething toys in the fridge to give your baby the cool comfort he needs.
  • Gum Massage: This is simple yet effective way to give your baby relief from teething pain. Similar to chewing, massaging your baby’s gums will provide counter-pressure to aching teeth.
  • Cold Food/Drinks: As we mentioned, cold objects are soothing to teething babies. If your baby has been introduced to solid foods, start giving her cold items like yogurt, applesauce or fruit blended with ice. You could also refrigerate breastmilk to give to your little one in a bottle. Another option is to let your baby chew on a cold washcloth that’s been soaked in water or breastmilk.
  • Distractions: You’d be surprised how effective distractions can be for a teething baby. If your kiddo is extra cranky, find ways to take his mind off his teething pain. Go for a walk, read a story and have extra playtime. Focusing on other things will help your little one feel better.
  • Wipe Up Drool: Yep, there’s going to be plenty of drool while your baby is teething. This is totally normal, but it can also cause irritation to your baby. The constant flow can cause a rash or redness to the area around your child’s mouth, so be sure to wipe droll away frequently using a clean cloth.
  • Pain Relievers: When all else fails, talk to your pediatrician about using a baby-safe pain reliever. This might be the best option for babies (and parents) who aren’t getting any sleep due to teething pain.

Avoid These Teething Remedies

While it’s invaluable to know how to relieve your child’s teething pain, it’s just as important to understand what not to do. Certain teething remedies can actually be dangerous for your child. Before you try any teething remedy, make sure you’re avoiding any of the following:

  • Liquid Teething Rings: These are a popular choice as a teething toy for babies, but the liquid inside can pose a health risk. There’s no way to know for sure what it contains and if your baby chews through the plastic, there’s a chance she will ingest the substance. Solid teething rings are a safe, effective alternative.
  • Teething Necklaces/Bracelets: There’s been a lot of hype around teething jewelry to alleviate teething pain, but experts are warning of the dangers of teething necklaces and bracelets. Amber teething jewelry poses a choking hazard, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a case of a baby who suffered lead poisoning from a homeopathic bracelet. It’s best to avoid these teething devices altogether.
  • Products Containing Benzocaine: No parent wants to see their baby suffering, so it can be tempting to reach for over-the-counter products like teething gels to help them feel better. But the FDA has determined that these products contain benzocaine, which can cause potentially fatal harm to your baby. Benzocaine is associated with methemoglobinemia, a disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.
  • Homeopathic Remedies: We’d all love to find a safe, all-natural solution for teething babies, but the simple fact is that homeopathic remedies are not evaluated by the FDA.

As a parent, you want the best for your little one — and so do we. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth as they develop, give your Englewood, Stapleton and Thornton pediatric dentist a call. We’re here to help.

New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

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New Year’s Resolutions for Kids’ Healthy Teeth

Can you believe that we’re mere weeks away from a brand new decade? At Kids Mile High, we can’t wait to ring in 2020 with big goals for the year ahead. After all, the start of a new year is the perfect time to kickstart all your resolutions. This year, we want to help your kids set themselves up for a lifetime of healthy teeth!

As your Denver pediatric dentists, we know that getting little ones excited about oral health care can be a challenge — but with a little fun and motivation, you can set smart teeth goals for your kids to keep them happy and healthy all year long. Not sure where to start? Here are our favorite New Year’s resolutions for healthy smiles.

  1. Brush Twice a Day — For Two Minutes!

I think this is something we’ve all been guilty of at one point or another — kiddos and adults alike. Even though most people brush their teeth twice a day, most spit and rinse well before the recommended two-minute time frame is up. This year, help your kids (and yourself!) stay on track for great oral health by encouraging them to brush for two minutes, twice a day. You could even make a game of it by picking a fun, two-minute song to play while they brush. This is sure to keep them scrubbing their pearly whites until the final note.

  1. Floss Once Per Day, Every Day

Brushing your teeth twice a day is a fantastic start on your kids’ New Year’s resolutions, but brushing alone isn’t enough to keep plaque and cavities at bay. Food particles can get stuck in hard-to-reach places between your teeth, leading to harmful build-up over time. To truly improve your kids’ oral health this year, you need to make flossing a regular part of their dental routine. And what better time to start creating new, healthy habits than the start of a new year? To get your kids to floss every day, make it a family affair and floss together. Kids love to imitate their parents, so show off your flossing skills and soon enough, your little ones will follow your lead.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water (And Limit Sugary Drinks)

Everyone knows how harmful sugar can be for your teeth. Plaque, tooth decay, cavities, oh my! This year, swap sugary drinks for the health-boosting benefits of good old fashioned water. Water is the healthiest drink in the world, not only because it’s hydrating and necessary for all your bodily functions — it also washes away bad bacteria and build-up on your teeth. On top of that, water also boosts your natural saliva production, which ultimately means that water prevents tooth decay. Talk about a healthy, tooth-friendly beverage! This year, avoid packing sugary drinks like juice or pop in your kids’ lunches and encourage them to drink plenty of water instead.

  1. Eat Tooth-Friendly Foods

Just like sugary drinks can wreak havoc on your kids’ oral health, so can sugary foods. One of the best New Year’s resolutions for kids is to eat more healthy, tooth-friendly foods (like vegetables) and cut down on foods that are bad for their teeth (like candy). Set your kids up for a healthy year by packing tooth-healthy lunches with plenty of whole foods, such as fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats and, of course, plenty of water. After all, your kids’ teeth are only as healthy as the food you give them. Start making healthier choices today to give them a lifetime of good oral health.

  1. Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports

Not-so-fun fact: almost five million teeth are knocked out during sports every year in the United States. So parents with active kids, this one’s for you. If your child plays sports or participates in activities that put their teeth in harm’s way, this might be the year to invest in a mouthguard for your kiddo. Contact sports (like football, hockey, soccer and so on) put your kids at risk of chipping or breaking their teeth. A mouthguard offers necessary protection against falls, collisions or contact with hard surfaces. This keeps your child’s teeth safe and healthy, and also helps them avoid emergency visits to the dentist. You can buy ready-made mouthguards at sporting goods stores or you can have a custom mouthguard made by your Denver pediatric dentist. Not sure if your child needs a mouthguard? Talk to the experts at Kids Mile High.

  1. Visit Your Denver Pediatric Dentist Twice a Year

The foundation for good oral health starts at home, with regular brushing and flossing, and a proper diet. But to make sure your kids’ teeth are as healthy as possible, they should see their pediatric dentist twice a year for routine check-ups, professional cleanings and fluoride treatments. A dentist can catch underlying oral health issues that you or your child might not have noticed. They also have professional tools to give your children’s teeth a deep clean, removing all the bad stuff they may have missed. You can even schedule your kids’ appointments in advance, so you always have a visit with your Englewood, Stapleton or Thornton pediatric dentist on the books. If you haven’t booked your child’s next dental appointment, call Kids Mile High today.

Ready to get a jumpstart on your kids’ New Year’s resolutions? The doctors at Kids Mile High are happy to answer any questions and provide helpful tips for keeping your kiddos on track. Let’s start the new decade off right with happy, healthy smiles for life.