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The purpose of this blog is to inform our patients, or better said parents of our pediatric patients of pediatric dental problems and anomalies; to clarify any myths and answer any question; And to help them take better care of their loved ones’ oral and dental hygiene. Stay tuned for more news and cool tooth/mouth related information popping up in our blog.

WHAT ARE TEETHING AMBER NECKLACES …

AND DO THEY REALLY WORK?

BY DR. AZI A. ARDAKANI, DDS

A growing number of infants and toddlers are being seen around South OC wearing a beautiful, stylish amber stone necklace. Their parents put them on their babies to “assist in the process of childhood teething,” but do they really work?

Amber-Necklace-Blog-Baby

TEETHING

As a pediatric dentist, I’ve witnessed the teething process all of my professional career – I’ve seen babies teethe throughout the first 2 1/2 years of their lives. The first baby tooth typically erupts between the ages of six to eight months and infants will continue to grow their 20 teeth throughout their first two-and-a-half years. Those brand new pearly whites do penetrate out of the gums with certain level of discomfort and that the level of discomfort may vary from child to

child. It is very common to see teething accompanied by natural biological changes including mild fever, increased drooling, changes in feeding habits, some congestion and overall fussiness of the child. Babies oral sensations are much stronger and different than adults and so these changes may be heightened or felt differently by them.

AMBER

Teething necklaces are made from a fossilized tree resin called Baltic Amber claim to reduce teething pain by releasing Succinic acid. Amber is claimed to release this analgesic compound as the beads come in contact with child’s body heat and are believed to transfer its chemicals through skin and sweat.

WHAT SCIENCE SAYS

Despite these claims, scientific evidence and research data has demonstrated that no Succinic acid is released from Baltic Amber at body temperature. And even if minute amounts are released, no significant amount will be absorbed by sweat at body temperature. While many parents swear by the efficacy of these pretty baubles, current science definitively debunks the release of Succinic acid from Amber and its analgesic effect on teething babies.

WHAT TO
WATCH OUT FOR

Unfortunately there have been a number of cases reported of these amber necklaces resulting in strangulation and can pose a choking hazard if they break. The American Academy of Pediatric Medicine and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both advise parents against allowing their infants to wear any type of jewelry. But for parents who want to give these necklaces a try, I would encourage that they ensure that the thread or string holding the beads together is not easily broken and make sure the necklace is not long and stretchy enough to cause entanglement around babies neck. Watch your child closely as they wear these necklaces and make sure they are frequently washed and cleaned.

ALTERNATIVE TEETHING TREATMENTS

I really prefer the chewable toys that are specifically made for teething. Bigger sized rubber or plastic teething toys that can’t be swallowed by baby or even cold or frozen cloths are recommended.

Frozen fruit (such as banana or apple) can aid in minimizing teething pain and has the bonus of being a nutritious alternative.

 

If you feel that the teething pain is extreme, mild pain relievers under the consultation and prescription of a Pediatric Dentist or Pediatrician can also help. I would advise against over-the-counter oral gels since case studies report possible GI and stomach side effects. Just remember that the process of teething is very normal – it happens for all infants and it will pass soon. Best of luck to all you mommy and daddies out there who are trying to make this period as smooth as possible for your beautiful baby.

Dr.-Azi-A

Dr. Azi A. Ardakani, DDS can be reached at Little Heroes Pediatric located at 26534 Moulton Parkway, Suite C in Laguna Hills by calling (949) 342-1484

Natal Teeth

Natal teeth are teeth that are present when the infant is born. There is a chance of one in every 2,000 newborns having natal teeth. These are not the same as neonatal teeth that erupts regularly in the infant’s mouth during the first few months of life. Natal teeth are usually the infant’s baby teeth that have come in early. The teeth are often loose because the root is not completely formed. There may be few problems that are associated to natal teeth. Natal teeth may make breastfeeding a bit hard. If the teeth are loose, there is a chance infant may swallow the teeth and may cause airway obstruction and chocking problem. And natal teeth may interfere with the baby’s natural suckling motion.

Diagnosis of natal teeth:
Natal teeth are usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your infant. The teeth can be seen and usually allow for a diagnosis simply on physical examination. Your infant’s physician or dentist may also order X-rays of the infant’s mouth to help in the evaluation of the problem.

Management of natal teeth:
Teeth that are loose may need to be removed to decrease the risk of the infant inhaling the tooth into his/her airways. Early removal of the teeth may lead to spacing or crowding of the permanent teeth when they erupt. Dear mom and dad: Natal teeth are sign of your child having teeth a bit earlier than its time. There is no reason for you to panic or worry. Call us and bring your bundle of joy in and let us do a thorough evaluation. Your Little Hero will be in good hands.

(with thanks to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Children Hospital of Wisconsin web knowledge)

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