Baby Teething Tips: Do Amber Teething Necklaces Work?

April 16th, 2015

Baby Teething Tips: Do Amber Teething Necklaces Work?It’s hard to see your baby in pain while they’re teething. There’s no doubt about it. Parents are always looking for new ways to help their children feel better while their first set of teeth is growing in. To help give their babies an alternative teething relief, many parents have started using Amber Teething Necklaces.
These necklaces have been around for a while, but have continued to become more and more popular in the US over the years. All over the Internet, parents claim that these necklaces have done miracles for their baby’s discomfort. In reality, though, there is no concrete evidence that they work, and they pose a hazard to young children’s health.

How Are Amber Teething Necklaces Supposed to Work?

Manufacturers claim that amber is a natural European teething remedy for babies between the ages of 3 months and 2 years. While the necklace is worn around a baby’s neck, the warmth of the baby’s body is said to release natural healing oils from the amber. After these oils are supposedly absorbed by the baby’s skin and transported into the bloodstream, they are said to relieve pain and other common teething symptoms, such as swollen gums, fevers and red cheeks. Succinct acid is supposed to be the primary healing component in amber.

Does the Amber Teething Necklace Actually Work?

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that amber teething necklaces actually work. In fact, in a study published in 2012 in The Archives of Pediatrics, researchers describe the teething necklace as “ineffective,” a “quack remedy,” and “dangerous.”
In an interview with the New York Times, Pediatrician Dr. Natasha Burgert says that there are two major risks when it comes to babies wearing amber teething necklaces: strangulation and choking. The Center for Disease Control notes that unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injury among infants and young children - the same age group that would be wearing the necklaces. To be fair, many amber necklaces come with safety clasps and knotting features to reduce the risk of suffocation. However, it’s not worth the potential hazard, especially when there are other proven and safe remedies out there for teething.

Other Teething Remedies

We here at Water Tower Dental Care suggest using these traditional and proven teething techniques, rather than the potentially hazardous amber teething necklaces.

  • Rubber Teething Rings: Choose toys that are safely designed for a teething baby. The pressure of the baby chewing on the ring will help soothe their painful gums.
  • Light Massage: Lightly massaging your baby’s gums with clean hands can help them feel better, at least temporarily.
  • Cold and Flexible Stuff: Cold objects work as an anesthetic to pain. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests giving a teething child cold spoons, clean and wet washcloths, frozen bagels or refrigerated teething rings. Just make sure to keep an eye on your child when they use these objects and make sure they’re safe.
  • Medication: The American Academy of Pediatrics states that acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen can be used for severe pain, but parents should get instruction on safe dosing first. Avoid using benzocaine-containing teething gels for infants or children under 2 years old.

Teething isn’t fun for children or adults. But hopefully, the safe solutions above help to make this process a little bit easier. If you’re worried about your baby’s teeth, free to bring them into Water Tower Dental Care, Chicago’s #1 rated dentistry. We would love to help you put your child on a path to a healthy, bright smile.

How to Stop Kids From Grinding Their Teeth

January 22nd, 2015

Kid Grinding TeethFor the young and old, teeth grinding is a serious concern. Thankfully there are methods to stopping teeth grinding before it gets too serious. For the young, however, this can be harder to do than for an adult. Children have less of a conscious attitude toward health than an adult, who understands the cause and effect of such bad habits. For children, it will take the help of their parent to stop teeth grinding before it becomes a serious health concern.

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is when the jaw muscles tighten and clench, pushing the teeth together in a way that wears down the enamel of the tooth. The more this happens, the flatter the tooth becomes, and the closer the nerve endings are to being exposed, making the teeth more sensitive.
Almost all cases of teeth grinding happen at night, when the person is asleep, so it can be a hard habit to detect. With children, this is especially hard as they don’t realize why their head might hurt, or why their jaw is sore in the morning, which are two main symptoms of teeth grinding.
The best way one will know if their child is grinding their teeth is by the sound. Much like nails on a chalkboard, the sound of teeth grinding can be excruciating. If you hear a kind of grinding sound coming from your child’s room, you can suspect that they’re grinding their teeth. Often children grind their teeth because the top and bottom teeth are misaligned. They also may grind in response to an earache or teething.
Before heading straight to the dentist, there are ways to help you child relax their jaws and prevent them from teeth grinding without seeking medical attention.

Drinking More Water

Often teeth grinding in children is caused by dehydration. If you have discovered your child grinds their teeth, make sure to have them drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, the most important liquid being water.

Reducing Stress

For both adults and children, stress is a big cause of teeth grinding. For adults, stress can be caused by work or relationship troubles, while for children, it can be more about being scared at night, or having nightmares. To help prevent this, make sure your child isn’t eating too much bad food at night. Junk food with high amounts of sugar and sodium can lead to bad dreams. As well, make them feel comfortable by reading them a book or telling them a story before going to bed. This will help them relax and feel safe throughout the night.
Stress may also be caused by an illness such as an earache. Talking to your child’s pediatrician about ways to reduce pain in the ear and ease your child is recommended.

Relaxing Muscles

When muscles aren’t relaxed, they tend to tighten and clench at night. So it’s important to make sure your child’s muscles are loose, especially the jaw. A good way to loosen all muscles is by doing simple stretches before bed. For the jaw, a rag soaked in warm water and placed along the jawline and against the cheeks will help it become relaxed.

Aligning the Teeth

If the teeth-grinding is due to misaligned teeth, it could be time to seek the help of an orthodontist. Of course, visiting your dentist first for their full opinion is recommended.

Visiting the Dentist

If these practices do not help your child relax their jaw and stop grinding their teeth, you should seek the help of a dental professional. They can provide a mouthguard or other methods to help prohibit your child from grinding their teeth, along with evaluating if any serious damage has occurred due to the grinding.
While teeth grinding can be a serious issue, it is often easily resolved. If you have any more questions or concerns, contact Water Tower Dental. We can help guide you on methods for helping your child stop grinding their teeth and ensure their smiles are bright and healthy.

When Should My Child First See the Dentist and What Will Happen?

December 19th, 2013

childs first dentist visitWhen it comes to your child, there are many firsts that must be determined. A very important first for a child is the first time they visit the dentist. At Water Tower Dental, we make sure that this fist visit is a great experience that helps a child learn to love cleaning their teeth and visiting the dentist for years to come. But when exactly should your child start to visit the dentist?

We recommend you begin checkups for your child before the age of 2. Taking your child to the dentist is a great way to help prevent tooth and gum decay. As a parent, it helps you understand the best practices for keeping your children’s teeth clean and preventative practices. Tooth decay can occur as soon as teeth appear, as a parent you must be ready to help your child prevent decay and further troubles with their teeth.
When first taking your child to the dentist, help them prepare by understanding what the dentist does and what they might experience. As well, plan for the different outcomes of how a child may react. Many children are happy to cooperate, while others can become scared, or just have trouble sitting still. Make sure to talk to your child on what to expect from the dentist so they can feel ready and understand what behavior is appropriate. Also make sure to bring along and important medical records for your child.
At Water Tower Dental, we do our best to make each checkup fun for your child. We want children to have an experience they enjoy, not one they should fear. Many children’s first visits are often an introductory to the dental office and a way to acquaint your child with the sights and sounds of a dentist. If a child is acting uncomfortable of being non-cooperative, it may be encouraged to try a few short visits to the dentist to help your child become better acquainted. This can be an important experience, especially in the future if your child has more serious dental issues.
If a child is comfortable and relaxed, we spend a short amount of time helping your child understand the best practices of dental hygiene while inspecting and cleaning their teeth.
Depending on the age of the child, precedes may include:

  • Thorough examination of the mouth including the teeth, gums, jaw, bite, and oral tissue.
  • Gentle cleaning and polishing to remove plaque.
  • X-Rays
  • A demonstration on proper oral hygiene and cleaning.

Once a full examination is complete, the dentist will talk to you, the parent, on any concerns they may have and if any action should be taken.
After the first visit to the dentist, children should return every six months for proper cleaning and check up. However, if a child has trouble with the dentist, interim visits every three months may be necessary at first to help your child feel comfortably and confident at the dentist.
If your child is ready for the dentist, don’t hesitate to contact Water Tower Dental today. We’re happy to show every child how fun the dentist can be and give them an experience they won’t forget.