Archive | January, 2012

Teething

12 Jan

My four month old daughter is drooling a lot all of the sudden, which makes me suspect that she will be teething soon.  So I thought I would write a post about teething.

Teething may start as early as 3 months and as late as 12.  The first teeth typically appear between 6-9 months.  When your baby begins teething you may notice drooling, crying, and fussiness.  You may also notice a swelling of the gums.  It’s a misconception that teething causes fever (temperature above 100F), although it could possibly cause a slightly elevated temperature.  So if your baby is running a fever don’t disregard it as a symptom of teething.  It’s not.  These symptoms will appear 3-5 days before the tooth shows and will disappear after the tooth cuts through.

The infant teeth generally emerge in pairs and will start with the lower incisors.  You can check if your baby is teething by rubbing your finger along the gums, feeling for swollen ridges. 

Infants chew on objects to aid in the teething process, breaking down some of the gum tissue which promotes the growth of the teeth out of the gums.  A teething ring or a chilled pacifier can work well to relieve the discomfort.

Remember, you should begin brushing your baby’s teeth once they appear.  

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Molly’s First Visit

3 Jan

MollyI was very nervous when my sister-in-law scheduled an appointment for my 3 year old niece to come see me for the first time.  I am very close to my niece, but to her I have always been Aunt Abby and not Dr. Mann.  I’m comfortable seeing children at this age, but I know that visiting the dentist can be a very scary thing for them, and I didn’t want her have a bad experience and associate it with me.  I could just imagine Molly crying inconsolably the next time I visit her at her house because she thinks Dr. Mann is there to stick something into her mouth again.

Fortunately, all of my fears were unfounded.  Molly was nervous at first, but her anxiety quickly subsided and she was a great patient.  She let me clean her teeth and give her an exam without any tears.  And she must have known that her mother and I were worried about the outcome of the visit because afterwards she told her mom, “Mom I did good, I did not even cry!”  She got to play with a new Christmas toy as a reward.