Does Thumb Sucking Damage Teeth?

About Baby Teeth“Do all kids suck their thumb, or is my kid unusual?” asks a worried mom, but the pediatrician assures her it is normal for most babies and toddlers to suck their thumbs, in fact, they also like to suck on their fingers, hands, or items such as pacifiers, especially while they are teething.  Generally, most children stop sucking their thumb on their own at age 3 to 6 years.

For adults, who are taught at an early age to keep germy hands off the face, especially during cold and flu season, the idea of thumb-sucking and the spread of germs is pretty horrifying, especially if you are a germaphobe.

Why do Babies Suck Their Thumbs?

Babies have a natural urge to suck, and this urge usually decreases after the age of 6 months.  Many babies continue sucking their thumbs as a means to soothe themselves and continue the habit as toddlers, as a means to comfort themselves when they feel hungry, afraid, restless, quiet, sleepy, or are bored.

How Long Is It “Socially Acceptable” For a Child to Suck Their Thumb?

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How Do Teeth Age?

How Do Teeth Age A Child’s SmileTeeth are not quite as unique as snowflakes, however, they do vary in size, shape and location in the jaw.  These differences in the teeth are what give our face shape and form and how we chew, speak or smile.  Did you know that we are born with 20 baby teeth (a/k/a “primary teeth”) that will begin to “erupt” or break through at about 6 months, and, by age 12, all 32 of our permanent teeth have usually erupted?

A Child’s Smile

There are many gap-toothed photos of you in your parents’ family albums.  Face it, all of a sudden your “cuteness quotient” goes down substantially when you begin losing those baby teeth.  The first teeth to go are the lower center teeth (a/k/a the lower center incisors) at approximately 6 to 7 years old.  Next are the top center pair.   It’s scary looking when you resemble a Halloween pumpkin, but, at least the Tooth Fairy helps make this time bearable.  Happily, a baby tooth typically doesn’t loosen until the permanent tooth below pushes it up to take its place.

When Do Teeth Start to Age?

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How Young Is Too Young for a First Dental Visit?

First Dental VisitBabies don’t need to see dentists, right? After all, they don’t even have teeth! Actually, babies do need dental checkups, and in many cases, the sooner the better. Okay, so you don’t have to grab baby and run to the dentist as soon as you get home from the hospital. However, it’s important to know that you also shouldn’t wait until your baby has her teeth before you schedule her first appointment. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), you can schedule your baby’s first dental visit as soon as you see that first little tooth surfacing. This event typically occurs before her first birthday. Here’s more information from dentists in South Orange that is especially helpful for new parents about baby’s first teeth, how to care for baby’s mouth, and when to whisk your little one off for her first dental checkup.
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Facts about Baby Teeth

About Baby TeethNaturally, babies are vastly different from adults, and that means that baby teeth aren’t like adult teeth. Just as you wouldn’t treat your infant as you would a toddler, a tween, or a teen, you must realize that you need to approach your baby’s incoming teeth in a different manner. Those little teeth your little one’s mouth is growing come with their own set of requirements. But it doesn’t stop there. Your baby’s mouth and overall oral hygiene also must be handled differently from your own dental routine. The best place to start when it comes to your baby’s new teeth is to learn the facts about those teeth. Following are some important facts about baby teeth from top dentists in Essex County, as well as practical tips on caring for your baby’s dental health.  If you have more questions about baby teeth or are ready to take your little one to her first dental visit you should contact a family dentist in Essex County.
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How to Care for Baby Teeth

Questions about Baby TeethJust like the rest of your baby, caring for your baby’s teeth brings with it loads of questions. And, since babies don’t come with owner’s manuals, as a new parent, it’s vital that you educate yourself on the proper way to care for her teeth from birth. New parents have many questions about baby teeth, but they generally don’t have a lot of answers. Thankfully, family dentists in Clearwater and throughout the country are equipped with answers to your questions that will help you care for your baby’s teeth from the beginning. Following are answers to some of the most common questions new parents have about their baby’s teeth that will help all new parents take a bite out of some of the confusion that comes with a brand new baby. Continue reading “How to Care for Baby Teeth”

Common Questions about Baby Teeth

Baby TeethBabies sure are hard! If you’re a new parent, you probably have more questions than you have answers. And with every answer you find, it seems another 10 questions are right behind it! You’ve got questions about what the crying means, about 2 a.m. feedings, about cloth diapers versus store-bought … the list is endless. And near the top of the list is likely to be questions about your baby’s blossoming teeth. How do you clean your baby’s mouth? When do you start brushing? What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should you use? What do you do about pain when you’re baby’s teething? Following are common questions about baby teeth that new parents have and answers from top dentists in Millburn that will help your baby’s teething experience go a little more smoothly. Continue reading “Common Questions about Baby Teeth”

Dental Care for Babies

Brush Baby TeethAfter having a baby, you watch weeks of it fussing, drooling and finally… you spot that first tooth that pops out from the gums. It’s an exciting experience, but it’s also the beginning of a long and trying life to teach your kids about their teeth and why it’s important to take care of them. For some kids, taking care or allowing them to take care of their teeth is an easy task, for others, not so much. Either way, it all starts with you and what kind of a foundation you will help to create for your baby’s healthy teeth and mouth. Some parents think that you don’t take care of your baby’s teeth until they get older, but this isn’t the case. In fact, even before they start growing teeth you should be cleaning their gums at least. Here are some important tips on taking care of your baby’s teeth and mouth.

Caring For Baby’s Gums

Yes, you can take care of baby’s gums even before any teeth come in. You should be doing this especially if they are on a bottle. This does not involve a toothbrush or toothpaste; instead it’s a very simple process. Tale a soft terry towel and moisten it, wipe down your baby’s gums 2 times a day at a minimum. Be sure to really wash their gums after feedings and before bedtime. So what does this do? In a simple explanation, it really is just a great way to wash bacteria off of their gums. Bacteria, as with adults, can create plaque that sticks to the teeth and can damage them.

Brushing Of the Teeth

Once the first tooth starts popping out of the gums, you can then use a toothbrush. Just make sure you are getting a baby toothbrush and not a child’s or adult’s toothbrush – even at their softest these are too hard for a baby’s gums and way too big. You will need a soft toothbrush with a very small head and a larger handle for you to hold. When first starting out, just take the toothbrush and wet it with water making sure you get all of the teeth, front and back. Once more and more teeth start to come in, OVER the age of 3, you can use a pea sized amount of toothpaste. You should be the one brushing your child’s teeth until they can do so on their own, and they can spit rinse and repeat on their own. Make sure that from the time you see the first tooth that you look for any spotting or discoloration. If you do see anything odd, make sure you talk to your Family Dentist in Millburn as well as your pediatrician.

Teething – An Uncomfortable Experience

Each baby goes through a stage where the teeth start to poke through the gums, this is called teething. Not only can it be painful for the baby, but hard for mom and dad too because chances are you are going to hear a lot of crying, fussing and seeing a lot of tears. It’s a difficult situation for any parent. You can tell when your baby is teething when they have swollen gums, they begin drooling more than usual and they have a slight temperature. If you want to try and get rid of teething pain, try these tips:

Teething Rings: Cool teething rings usually have water in them – freeze them or put them in the fridge for a cool temperature toy for them to chew on.

Bananas: If your child is old enough, you can freeze a banana and let them “gum” on the banana – tastes a lot better than a plastic toy that’s for sure!

Gum Rubbing: With a clean finger, you can rub your baby’s gums.

Never ever ever give your baby Aspirin. This can give your child a syndrome called Reye’s syndrome. It’s a rare condition but it can happen. Better to be safe than sorry. If the baby is really upset and you can’t calm him or her down, call your family doctor to see what you can do. Chances are they will suggest one of the above mentioned tips, but it’s worth a chance to see if they can offer additional support.

Dental Care Tips for Children

Healing teethIf you have children, there are certain things you need to know about when it comes to their teeth. The #1 question parents ask when it comes to their kids and teeth is WHEN? When should you actually start to brush their teeth? Some people may have different answers, but our answer is clear: As soon as they appear. Even if you are not using traditional toothpaste (as you shouldn’t be anyway) you can use a wet washcloth to clean their baby teeth to ensure that tooth decay is not present and does not happen early on. Kids and cavities is such a high statistics these days. In fact, over 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. That is just plain astonishing and shocking! Maybe if more parents knew how to take care of their kid’s teeth, less kids would have cavities at such a young age. If you want some tips on how to take care of your children’s teeth, there are a few tips below. Continue reading “Dental Care Tips for Children”