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Pacifiers and Dental Health of Babies
Is pacifier a safer thing than thumb sucking for my baby’s teeth?
Usually, both habits affect the position of front teeth. Pacifiers may have bigger effect than thumb because pacifier is an elastic object which is deformed when pressurized and tries to return back to its natural shape later on. As a result, the pacifier puts active force on the teeth and dislocation of proper position of teeth may be more than in thumb sucking habit. Although there are opposite opinions about quitting pacifier habits, it is the right thing in perspective of dental health. Negotiating with children about this subject is not an efficient method for ending this habit.
The best way to quit this habit is the one-sided decision of parents and it is applied by removing the pacifier from the environment. This could simply be done by “removing the pacifier” as well as informing the child about the fact that pacifier will be removed (not by negotiating).
When should I begin cleaning my baby’s teeth?
As soon as it becomes visible in mouth! Wet cloth or gauze bandages are easiest alternatives for dental cleaning when your baby is too young. As your baby grows older and tolerance increases, a soft fibered baby tooth brush may also be used.
My baby has tooth pain. What can I do before going to a dentist?
There is always a piece in between the teeth of children who talk about constant pain in milk teeth (such as food remnants). Even abscess of teeth may cause pain in babies’ teeth. What should be done is to ask your child to show the tooth which is painful by using one finger. This will focus you to the troubled area. Next step is to observe if the food remnants are removed by cleaning the area with a dental floss. If this does not help, basic painkillers such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or other known painkillers for children may be useful. Of course, the best evaluation and treatment will be made by your dentist.
When do the teeth erupt?
The first tooth erupts approximately in the middle of the 7th month. However, sometimes the first tooth appears early in the third month and sometimes it hangs until the end of a year. Tooth eruption usually obeys hereditary order, thus it is possible that it will be same if your or your partner’s teeth erupted early.