4949 Westown Pkwy Suite 150
West Des Moines , IA 50266-6716
(515) 225-0066

Teething Troubles?

What is “teething?” 

Children begin to get their first teeth at approximately 6 months.  Some children begin earlier, as young as 3 months, and some don’t have teeth until 18 months!  Every child is different.  When baby teeth are coming in, some children can become more fussy, drooly and restless.  A child that has a fever (a fever is a temperature of at least 100.4°F), diarrhea, rashes or other concerning symptoms, please call your pediatrician as something else is bothering your child, such as a viral illness or ear infection.

You can soothe baby’s gums by giving teething toys or a wet washcloth that has been refrigerated.  Baby Orajel (topical benzocaine) is NOT recommended and can be dangerous and even lethal for young children.  The FDA warns against using it for children under age two as it can cause a lethal side effect, called methemoglobinemia.  Read this article for more details: https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm250024.htm

“I see some babies wearing amber necklaces.  Are these effective?”

NO!  Amber teething necklaces have not been proven to be effective to reduce the symptoms of teething.  They can be very dangerous for your child, and can cause death due to choking or strangulation.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advise against the use of these necklaces.  Read more by the AAP here: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Amber-Teething-Necklaces.aspx

“Age one seems awful young to go to the dentist.  Why should I take my child at this age?”

Most children have at least a few teeth by age one.  If your child has teeth, they should visit a dentist.  Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with parents of little ones to make the visit more comfortable and educational.  Even if your child doesn’t have decay, other oral conditions can be noted.  Appointments with infants and toddlers are important to help show the parent how to brush well, if flossing is needed, discuss thumb or pacifier habits and dietary choices.  Rather than reacting to when decay is present, it is best to prevent it from occurring in the first place!  We love working with families to help their children have a cavity-free life. 

Both the AAP and AAPD recommend a child’s first dental visit occur within six months of their first tooth appearing, which is typically around age one.  Call our office to get your little one scheduled today!  515-225-0066