You Can Survive Teething!

Teething CryingWell, if you’re reading this you have already made it through teething, but the same cannot be said for a newborn. We at Neighborhood Smiles care about the health of our West Salem, WI patients and that’s why we want to provide you with useful knowledge about how to care for a baby that is teething. It’s no secret that new parents have a lot on their plate, so Dr. Shih wants to remind you that amidst the chaos of a brand new child, it is important to take care of yourself as well. Your baby will benefit from it!

Since your baby won’t need to see Dr. Shih until most of their tiny new teeth have erupted (around three years old), they are counting on you to maintain their dental care. However, you don’t have to go it alone! Waterloo Heights Dental Center wants all West Salem, WI babies to have healthy mouths, so please call us, and Dr. Shih will help you with any questions or concerns.

Teething Explained

As your infant grows and develops, their baby teeth will erupt (come up through the gums). This is a necessary part of every baby’s life, but it is very uncomfortable for the baby and usually results in plenty of crying. The reason teething causes so much grief is that there is no definitive cure, and many parents (especially new parents) may not know how to soothe their baby through this process. The best thing you can do is learn about teething and understand that every baby will face different challenges as their teeth grow in.

When does teething start?

Technically, teeth are under construction in their little jawbones long before your baby is even born. At about 12 weeks, those teeth will begin their journey through the gums, but that’s just the beginning. It will take about twice that much time before you actually see the teeth erupt. Keep an eye on your infant’s lower gums, as the first teeth to emerge are the two bottom front teeth. This usually happens when the baby is between six and nine months old, but there is no cause for concern if you don’t see mini teeth popping up right away.

When can you expect to see a nice toothy smile from your child? Once your baby has reached three years of age, you should be able to see all 20 of their baby teeth.

How to ease the process

First of all, Dr. Shih wants every parent to know that no matter what you may read or hear, there is no cure for teething. In fact, it is incorrect to think of teething as a disease, because it is a perfectly natural (and very important) part of a baby’s development.

That being said, it is bound to be a painful ordeal for baby and parents alike. So how can you get through it? Here are some tips for taking the bite out of teething:

1)      Using a (clean) finger or moistened gauze pad on your baby’s gums will alleviate some of the pain.

2)      Teething rings work very well to ease teething discomfort, especially when they are cool.

3)      In fact, almost any cool object that is clean and not too hard will help your baby through this trying time.

4)      Take care to wipe the drool off of your baby’s face to save them from a rash, which is unnecessary discomfort. Use a moistened washcloth, gauze pad, or even a soft, special infant toothbrush (no toothpaste, only water) to keep their gums clean.

Teething is rough for everyone, but if you use these tips, your baby will come out of it stronger than ever! As always, feel free to call us at Waterloo Heights Dental Center with any questions. We are happy to help!

As a general dentist with a special interest in cosmetic dentistry and implant restoration, I believe that a beautiful, healthy smile is a person’s greatest asset. I emphasize the need to establish good communication between the doctor and patient to achieve this goal. With a strong commitment to continuing education, I believes that it is important to stay abreast of the latest, cutting edge techniques and procedures in the area of cosmetic dentistry. I attended UCLA as an undergraduate and continued my education at the Northwestern University School of Dentistry, where I earned my Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree in 1977. I completed the Noblepharma Implant Mini-residency and hold Waterlase and Invisalign Advanced Certification. I am a member of the American Dental Association, The Wisconsin Dental Association, the Chicago Dental Society, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. A resident of the Stoughton area since 2008, I am active in my church and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. I enjoy gourmet cooking, reading, gardening and traveling in my spare time. I am married with three grown children, all of whom currently live in Chicago.

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