Teething Tips

Just when you thought you and your newborn were settling into a regular sleeping schedule, the teething starts! Most babies start teething around six to eight months of age, but many will start earlier or later. The process will continue until around age two and a half to three years old.  Some signs that your baby might be teething are: drooling, irritability, swollen, tender gums, refusing food, and difficulty sleeping.  You might also notice them chewing on hard objects. While some children experience little or no symptoms during teething, at Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we see plenty of parents and teething babies who could use a few more hours of sleep!

Here are some tips to get your baby (and yourself) through this time:

  1. Gently rub the gums with a cold washcloth.
  2. Give your child a cold rubber teething ring to chew on. Avoid hard teething rings that can damage teeth or liquid filled teething rings that can break. Those teeth are little but they are strong!
  3. If your child is on solid foods, feed him/her soft cool foods such as yogurt or soft fruit.
  4. Don't forget to brush! while there may be some discomfort during brushing while teething, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and keep the gums clean and plaque-free.  A finger brush may be useful during this time. 
  5. Over the counter topicals analgesics such as Orajel are not recommended. 
  6. If the pain is severe, Dr. Rashmi might recommend taking acetominophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen.   
  7. Now that your child has teeth, it's time schedule your baby's first trip to the dentist. Dr. Rashmi Ambewadikar, Pediatric Dentist at Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry can examine your child's dental growth and development and give you more oral health tips to keep your kids healthy.

Athletic Mouthguards

It's that time of year again- school has started and fall sports begin. Participating in sports is a great way for kids to stay active and healthy, but occasionally children can get injured during contact sports. To prevent broken teeth and damage to the lips, tongue, face and jaw, an athletic mouthguard can be worn. Dr. Rashmi Ambewadikar at Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry can make a custom fit mouthguard for your child that can be work comfortably during all sports.  Children can also choose their favorite color and design so it fits their personality as well as their teeth!

Grinding teeth at night

One of the most common questions patients ask Dr. Rashmi Ambewadikar, pediatric dentist at Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry during their children's dental visits is "Why is my kid grinding his teeth at night? It's so loud while he's sleeping, it wakes me up!" Nighttime teeth grinding, also know as "bruxism" is a very common behavior. Most children that are experiencing bruxism will decrease this activity when their "6 year molars" begin to erupt around age 6 and stop between the ages of 9-12. 

While there is no certain consensus on why this occurs, there are a few theories. One is that a child's bite is flexible and changing as they grow. Grinding is a subconscious attempt to compensate for these changes. Another theory is that grinding may be due to stress, as in adults, but that is more commonly noted in children of middle school age during school exams, changing of environments, and changes in family life.

Fortunately, most cases of nighttime bruxism do not require treatment since the habit will stop long before the permanent teeth can be affected, and pain or compromised esthetics due to grinding in the primary (baby) teeth rarely occurs. Dr. Rashmi Ambewadikar at Astoria Smiles Pediatric Dentistry will evaluate each patient at every dental checkup for signs if bruxism. Occasionally, severe bruxism cases and cases that do not stop naturally will require intervention in the form of a mouthguard to be worn at night to protect the permanent teeth.