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Babies often chew objects in their environment when they are teething.

Debunking Two Big Teething Myths

A baby’s first tooth is a momentous occasion and many parents can’t wait to show off the photos of their little one’s toothy grin. But with that pearly smile probably came some fussiness and a few sleepless nights too. The Placerville Dental Group answers teething questions frequently and will now clarify some teething myths!

Teething Diarrhea?

Yes, teething diarrhea is a term coined by parents and even the famous Dr. Sears believes babies experience diarrhea because of teething. Why do some believe diarrhea is a symptom of teething? According to Dr. Sears, increased drooling leads to more saliva passing through the digestive system and therefore results in diarrhea. While that may sound reasonable, this stand is not supported by scientific research. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) through the National Institute Heath (NIH) found no evidence teething itself causes diarrhea.

What could be causing the diarrhea if drooling isn’t the problem? It could be that teething children generally like to put everything in their mouths, increasing the likelihood they will pick up germs that make them sick. Teething children looking for relief for sore gums gnaw on anything, even unclean items. But what about teething gels to provide relief and calming? Will that help the baby to give up sucking on everyday items? This leads us to the second teething myth.

Teething Gels For Pain?

Topical oral pain relievers for teething used to be recommended by pediatricians and dentists, but no longer. Research has shown that products like Orajel are unsafe for babies and toddlers under two years of age. These gels may adversely affect blood oxygen levels, chiefly because it is easy to overuse these remedies and accidentally overdose the child.

So what’s a desperate parent to do when their baby is obviously uncomfortable? Extra cuddles, a frozen washcloth or a clean teething ring should do the trick. Infant Tylenol or Advil is also a good choice, especially for nighttime pain management.

The Good News About Teething

The first couple teeth to erupt are usually the most uncomfortable for babies. Some children don’t put up too much of a fuss at all. No matter how your baby reacts to teething, know that “this too shall pass.”

Our Placerville family dentist is always available to answer questions and we recommend your little one gets to know us sooner rather than later. Schedule an appointment for your toddler so we can check their new teeth, answer your questions and help them be comfortable when visiting the dentist to establish good oral care habits for life!

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