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Baby Teething Signs and Symptoms

July 15th, 2019

Teething baby girl smiling after following Truckee Pediatric Dentistry teething tips

Baby Teething

If your baby is about six months old and a little fussy, you may have a teething baby on your hands. Teething can be uncomfortable for infants and your child may start to show symptoms that differ from what you are used to. In this post, we will talk about what to look for when your baby is teething and what remedies may help in alleviating the discomfort of teething.

Symptoms of Teething

Babies are typically born with all 20 of their primary teeth underneath their gum line. These teeth typically erupt between the ages of 6-12 months and are typically all fully erupted by the age of 3. Symptoms that are typical of teething are:

  • Fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling more than usual

Symptoms that are not typical of teething are:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms while teething, it is important to contact your pediatrician as soon as possible.

How to Treat Symptoms of Teething

Teething is something your child will go through and the discomfort of this growth is unavoidable. However, it is manageable. If your child begins to show signs of teething some things you can do to alleviate discomfort are:

  • Gently rub their gums with a clean finger, moist gauze pad or cold spoon
  • Let them chew on a clean solid rubber teether

If your child is experiencing discomfort, it is possible to give them a small dose of children’s pain reliever, however, it is important that you consult your pediatrician before doing so.

Teething Treatment to Avoid

It is really important that you are mindful of what you are placing in your child's mouth during the teething process. Make sure items are clean and avoid using anything that is small, plastic, or could break. It is also important to be aware of the materials that the teething item is made of. According to the American Dental Association, not all teethers are safe, and some have materials that could be harmful to your child. Teethers are a great way to help your baby with the discomfort of teething, however, it is important to read labels to know what you are putting in your child’s mouth. Items to avoid are:

  • Numbing Gels
  • Teething Tablets
  • Homeopathic Teething Products

The FDA recommends that parents and caregivers avoid using benzocaine products and gels on children under the age of 2, as they pose serious risks with little to no benefit in treating oral pain and teething. The FDA also recommends that parents and caregivers avoid usage and dispose of homeopathic teething tablets and teething products as they have not been approved for effectiveness, and have been known to carry high amounts of the toxic substance, belladonna. If your child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using these products, seek medical care immediately.

Teething Babies Need Dentists Too

It is recommended that your child see a dentist within six months of their first tooth erupting. Establishing yourself with a pediatric dentist at this stage of your baby’s development is important for their overall oral health. If you are looking for a trusted and kind pediatric dentist, our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matthew Gustafsson provides quality care in a friendly and understanding environment. We at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry pride ourselves in providing a comfortable space for families and their children to establish healthy oral habits and receive customized care for their needs. Contact us at (530) 550-9311 to schedule an appointment or to answer any questions you may have. Congratulations on your new baby, and we look forward to becoming your trusted pediatric dentist!

The Secret To The No Cavity Club

February 28th, 2019

Did you know that tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions for children in the United states?  About 20% of children aged 5-11 have at least one untreated cavity and approximately 42% of children 2 to 11 have had a cavity on their baby tooth.  Sadly, the number of children with untreated tooth decay is twice as high for those children from low-income families.


The good news is that cavities are 100% preventable! So why do kids have such an alarming rate of dental disease? Partially, parents have been told for years that kids should brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily to prevent cavities. While this is great advice, this alone is inadequate to prevent cavities for the majority of kids.  So what is the answer?


Diet is the secret to cavity prevention! Diet trumps brushing and flossing, and the proper diet will help your child avoid frequent visits to the dentist.   If you floss your child’s teeth twice a day but let him drink chocolate milk all day or snack on crackers all day, your child will still get cavities. However, if you eliminate or decrease processed foods in your child’s diet and your child only eats whole foods and mostly low-carbohydrate snacks, you could never floss and still achieve zero cavities.  Toddlers who sip on water all day and only drink milk with meals are significantly less likely to get cavities compared to a toddler who sips on juice or milk throughout the day. Frequency of simple carbohydrate consumption is far more important than quantity. Sure, your child can enjoy all the snacks they love: goldfish, crackers, candy, ice cream, etc. However, if they are snacking on those things all day then you might be setting yourself up for more frequent visits with the dentist.  Check out our snack guide below for foods that are less likely to cause cavities


Foods that won’t cause cavities: Foods that won’t cause cavities: Food that (usually) won’t cause cavities:
  • Raw, crunchy vegetables
  • Raw, leafy vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • 100% nut butters
  • All Meats
  • All Fats
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Raw, crunchy vegetables
  • Raw, leafy vegetables
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • 100% nut butters
  • All Meats
  • All Fats
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Whole milk
  • Fresh fruit
  • Whole grain bread
  • Popcorn
  • Smoothies
  • Dark chocolate (> 70% Cacao)
  • Yogurt (unsweetened)
  • Ice cream (don’t get carried away, but it rinses away better than other deserts)


Obviously, brushing and flossing is very important! However, combining good brushing and flossing habits with healthy food choices will almost guarantee your child will remain cavity free.  Remember, that cavity prevention starts at the grocery store! Our goal at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry is to empower our patients with the knowledge and tools to create ideal oral health at a young age in order to eliminate dental disease! If you have any questions about the role of diet and cavities you can give us a call (530) 550-9311 or send us an email to info@truckeepediatricdentistry. We would love to talk with you!


Thumb Sucking

November 30th, 2018

Keywords:Truckeepediatric dentistry, Truckeechildren'sdentist


How Thumb Sucking Can Impact Your Child’s Dental Health


Many children suck their thumbs and fingers reflexively beginning while still in the womb. For infants and toddlers, it provides comfort when they are stressed and can help calm them when they are trying to sleep. Typically, children outgrow this stage or find a replacement object that provides that sense of security, such as a blanket or stuffed animal. Talk with your Truckee children’s dentist if you are concerned about the effect thumb-sucking may have on your child’s smile.


It’s a Hard Habit to Break


The longer the habit remains, the more difficult it can be to break. We recommend ending these oral coping mechanisms early by slowly steering them away from the practice and gently implementing other behaviors. Here are some tips to help you get started:


  • Take note of when your child tends to suck their thumb. Is it at a particular time of day or when a specific TV show is on? Provide activities that can distract them during that time.
  • Does the thumb get popped into their mouth during a melt-down or when getting ready to leave the house? Offer alternatives to dealing with stressful situations.
  • If your child is older and still resorting to thumb sucking, start a progress chart and offer a prize at the end of each week when progress is made.
  • Use their siblings or other people they know as examples of people who don’t suck their thumb.
  • Explain what may happen to their smile if they continue their habit.


Children need your understanding and support to put an end to their thumb sucking. Punishing them or pulling their hand out of their mouth could make them cling tighter to the habit and take longer for it to stop.


Schedule an Appointment Today


If you are concerned about your child’s oral health or if you have noticed a change in their speech or tooth alignment, visit Truckee Pediatric Dentistry. We can offer additional strategies to help curb the habit.



History of Dentistry

April 6th, 2018

A Little Dental History Insight From Your Truckee Pediatric Dentist


Many parents who visit our Truckee children’s dentistry office tell us how much dentistry has  changed since they were young. That’s why we’ve decided to take a quick trip through time to find out exactly how far dentistry has come. Below is a brief history of dentistry we think you’ll find find interesting.



Dentistry’s Earliest Known History


The earliest history of tooth-related problems dates back to 7000 BC when the Indus Valley Civilization shows evidence of treating the mouth for tooth decay. The first known method of treatment was done with a bow drill, which is a primitive tool used primarily for woodworking. Ouch!


Tooth Worms Were Blamed For Decay



Moving forward to 5000 BC, the Sumerians believed that tooth worms were the cause of dental decay. They actually believed that small worms moved from tooth to tooth, boring holes in the teeth while hiding out inside. There is even evidence that some doctors tried pulling out tooth nerves because they thought they were removing pesky tooth worms. It wasn’t until the 1700s that the tooth worm theory was proven false.


Tooth Extractions Were Performed By Barbers


During the Middle Ages, professionals performing tooth extractions were not medically trained individuals but rather barbers. The reason haircutters began pulling teeth is because the tools they used were similar to modern-day forceps. Imagine heading to your local barbershop for a trim and a tooth extraction. Yikes!

 The “Father Of Modern Dentistry”


A French physician named Pierre Fauchard is called the “Father of Modern Dentistry” because of all the improvements he made in the world of dentistry. After establishing his dental practice in Angers, France in 1700, Fauchard is credited with finding the link between sugar and tooth decay. He even recommended that people limit how much sugar they consume. Fauchard also invented the first braces once he discovered that teeth can be moved by applying pressure using metal wires and bands.


Modern Dentistry Was Ushered In During the 20th Century



During the 20th Century, great strides were being made which included things like developing the first modern dental crowns, formulating and marketing Novocain for pain-free dentistry, and adding fluoride to public water systems to help prevent decay. This is also when the first high-speed, air-driven dental drill was developed to increase treatment efficiency and improve patient comfort.


That Was Then, This Is Now



The modern era of dentistry we’re enjoying now is light years ahead of what dentistry used to be. Many procedures and treatments that used to be painful to endure and required several dental visits to complete, can now be done in a single, convenient and pain-free visit.


Contact Truckee Pediatric Dentistry Today!


Dr. Gustafsson and his professional team at Truckee Pediatric Dentistry are passionate about delivering gentle, technologically-advanced pediatric dentistry for children in a fun and caring atmosphere. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist in Truckee to help your child achieve and maintain good oral health, we’d be thrilled if you’d choose us! Just call our office at (530) 550-9311 so we can help you set up an appointment time that’s convenient for you. We’re excited about meeting you and your child soon!

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