Premature babies grow smaller teeth

Research conducted at Malmö baby-black-in-white-dressUniversity’s Dental Faculty has proved that children born before the 33rd week of pregnancy will grow permanent teeth that are up to 10% smaller in size compared with other children. The research was conducted by orthodontist Liselotte Paulsson-Björnsson, who examined the permanent front teeth and 1st molars in 80 children aged 8 to 10 years. All children had been born prematurely and their teeth were generally smaller and had larger spaces between them. Although this does not affect the function of the teeth it might cause problems cosmetically, thus creating a greater need for orthodontic treatment in this group of children.

Liselotte Paulsson-Björnsson points out that due to the great progress in the care of prematurely born babies within the last 15 years, the results of her research might not apply to babies born prematurely today. She also needs to examine whether it is only the front teeth and 1st molars that are affected or whether teeth developed after birth will also be smaller.

Source: www.mah.se/Nyheter/Nyheter-2011/For-tidigt-fodda-barn-far-mindre-tander/

HELP!! My child is teething!

It is with great anticipation that parents expect the arrival of the very first tooth. But the process of teething might not be as happy an occasion as hoped for. The infant cries, is irritable and doesn’t sleep. To the caring parents it seems there is nothing they can do. Or is there?

Child teethingIt is with great anticipation that parents expect the arrival of the very first tooth. But the process of teething might not be as happy an occasion as hoped for. The infant cries, is irritable and doesn’t sleep. To the caring parents it seems that there is nothing they can do to make the teething process less uncomfortable. Or is there? In this article you can read about when the first baby teeth can be expected, what symptoms you should be prepared for in your teething toddler, how you can soothe your child while the teeth are erupting and how to care for the new teeth.

When does the teething start?

Normally the teething starts when the lower central front teeth break through the gum. This intitial teething normally happens when the child is 6-7 months old. If your child is still teethless after 1 year there is no need to worry, though. If the teething has still not begun at the age of 18 months, the child should be examined by a dentist.

The last baby teeth to erupt are the big teeth in the back. They normally come around the age 1½ to 3 years. Interestingly, children who are born too early, often start teething later than usual. A set of baby teeth consists of 20 teeth.


The first signs of teething

Just before a tooth erupts, the gum will normally turn white and feel hard. A red and swollen gum can also be a sign that a tooth is on it’s way.

While your child is teething he or she might:

  • Have a tendency to put things in his or her mouth and bite on them.
  • Drool more
  • Have problems eating

Physical symptoms that your child is teething can be:

  • Irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Diarrhoea
  • Redness of the bottom
  • Fever (if the temperature remains above 38 degrees for more than 24 hours it is not caused by teething and the child should be examined by a doctor.)

What can you do to relieve teething symptoms?
There isn’t much you can do about the physical symptoms, except comfort and nurse the child a little extra. If the child is very bothered by the teething symptoms, a small dose of paracetamol can help. In some places it is possible to buy mixtures for children in the right doses that can be mixed with the child’s milk or water. If it is your first time to use paracetamol with your child, it would be better to contact your dentist or doctor first to make sure of the dosage.

If the gum is itching this can often be soothed by using a teething ring – preferably from the refrigerator. A teething baby might also appreciate washed carrots or cucumbers from the refrigerator.

Brushing your child’s teeth – how to win the fight!

It is very normal that children don’t like to have their teeth brushed. In many families the daily brushing routine has turned into a fight, which all to often is won by the child. Here is some advice that will increase your odds for winning the brushing fight once and for all.

child brushing teethIt is very normal that children don’t like to have their teeth brushed. In many families the daily brushing routine has turned into a fight, which all to often is won by the child. Here is some advice that will increase your odds for winning the brushing fight once and for all:

Choose the right toothbrush

Buy the toothbrush together with your child. There are many funny and interesting designs. While some children hate electric toothbrushes, others love them. Some electric toothbrushes even play a little melody while you are brushing. Whatever your child chooses, he or she might be more willing to accept a brushing with a tool of his or her own choice.

Choose the right time

Don’t wait with the brushing routine untill your child is tired or even exhausted. Very few children will be cooperative in this condition. Try instead to schedule the brushing at a time when your child is relaxed and in a good mood.

Choose the right place

You don’t necessarily have to brush your child’s teeth in the bathroom. If your child is more relaxed or comfortable in another room, try and do the brushing routine in there. If you already have a routine of reading a bedtime story, you might be able to add the toothbrushing to this routine and do it at the same place.

Let your child practice brushing

For a very young child it can especially be a good idea to allow the child to use a toothbrush by him- or herself. A toothbrush can be very soothing to bite on if the gums are itching from teething. In this way your child can also get used to the feeling of a toothbrush in the mouth.

Before brushing your child’s teeth, it might also be an idea to allow your child to brush teeth on a teddy bear or a doll or even on you.

Don’t expect perfection – but be systematic

Accept that you won’t always be able to brush perfectly in the beginning. When your child starts to accept the routine, you can gradually do it more and more thoroughly. Make sure that you at least within the same day are able to brush all areas of your child’s mouth. For example, if you are only able to brush the right side in the morning, you can make sure to brush the left side in the evening.

Stop while the game is good

Try and sense when your child is about to have had enough of the brushing and stop just before that. If you force your child too much, he or she might be very unwilling the next time. If you respect your child’s limits, you will probably be able to push these limits little by little.

Motivate – don’t force!

Do NOT use power or even violence for example by forcing your child’s mouth open or holding him or her down. Use motivation instead and remember to praise and reward your child, when the brushing has gone well.