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Posts for tag: pain

This month, our family will celebrate our youngest daughter turning two. It’s a bit ironic to celebrate a toddler turning two, as we all know that the terrible twos are anything but something to celebrate! But, along with the tantrums, defiance and unpredictability, two-year-olds also have some major milestones to look forward to. Getting their two-year-old molars is just one milestone that comes during this crazy year!

So, when will your child get his or her two-year-old molars? Do these teeth serve a purpose? And how can you care for your child during the teething and their new teeth once they arrive? Let’s find out!

The two-year-old molars are also referred to as second molars. They are the large, flat teeth at the very back of your child’s mouth. Their primary use is for grinding food. As your child grows and begins to eat more types of foods, these teeth are especially helpful for chewing and digestion.

Two-year molars usually arrive sometime between 23 and 33 months. Typically, the lower set will arrive fist, around 23 to 31 months, with the upper set following closely after around 25 to 33 months.

While I would love to tell you that they will arrive unnoticed, chances are, your child will experience some sort of teething symptoms, such as pain/ tenderness, irritability and crankiness. They may even have a low-grade fever. This is normal and to be expected, as these molars are large, and must force their way up through the gums, which is not always a pleasant experience.

Most two-year-olds are not able to identify the pain as “teething” and won’t be able to tell you what is wrong. You can help your child during this time by being aware of the symptoms and ready to help your child cope. Signs that your child is getting his or her second molars include:

-        Increased chewing on toys, fingers or clothing

-        Drooling more than normal

-        Irritability and crankiness

-        More nighttime fussiness, as they are less distracted and more focused on the pain

-        Low grade rectal temperature

(Please note that teething will not cause a high fever. If your child experiences a high fever, you should seek medical attention, as this is not caused by teething.)



Just like when your child got his or her first tooth, there are ways to help alleviate the pain and fussiness. Once you recognize the symptoms of teething, help your child through a rough few days by using these simple soothers:


-        Give the child a cold, wet wash cloth soaked in ice water

-        Offer teething toys for chewing

-        Distract your child with singing, coloring, building, dancing, etc.

-        Administer children’s Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen to help reduce discomfort for 1 or 2 days.
(pain that lasts longer than a couple of days needs to be evaluated by your pediatrician.)

-        Apply moisturizers to the skin around the mouth to prevent dryness caused by drooling.


Remember, teething only lasts a few days and your child will be back to his or her happy, active self. Once those two-year-old molars are in, be sure to take care of them with daily care!

If you have questions about your child’s oral development or you are looking for a dentist for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love top be your dental home! Call our office at 864-760-1440 and let is give you Something to Smile About!

Have you ever heard of a baby being born with tongue-tie? Maybe you have. Maybe not. The truth is, most people don’t hear about tongue-tie until their child is born with it. While it may not be talked about often, it can be a big deal.  

Tongue-tie happens when the frenulum, the string of tissue under your baby's tongue, which attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too short or too tight. When the child’s tongue is tethered to the floor of his or her mouth by an unusually short or thick string of tissue, it can interfere with basic functions. Everyday activities, such as breastfeeding, eating, swallowing, speech and even just sticking out his or her tongue, can be made more difficult or even impossible.


Breastfeeding and Tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can make nursing a newborn very painful, and sometimes impossible. Babies who are tongue-tied may have problems latching correctly and/or maintaining the latch. This will cause problems as they over compensate by increasing suction, or chewing on the nipple, causing severe pain for the mother.  An inability to latch correctly will affect the baby’s ability to drain the breast, possibly leading to supply issues. If the baby is not latching and nursing adequately, they may not be receiving adequate nutrition and may experience failure to thrive.


Oral Development

Tongue-tie can affect a baby’s oral development, as it affects their ability to eat, speak and swallow. Even everyday activities, such as licking an ice cream cone, kissing or playing certain instruments can be challenging.

In speech, the mobility of the tongue is necessary for certain sounds, such as “t”, “d”, “z”, “s”, “th”, “r”, and “I.”

Other challenges that may present when an infant, child or adult has a tongue-tie include poor oral hygiene because the tongue is not able to properly sweep food debris from the teeth, contributing to tooth decay and gingivitis. Extremely thick frenulum can also lead to the formation of a gap or space between the bottom teeth.

Aside from tongue-tie, infants may also be diagnosed with lip-tie, or a labial frenulum. This is when the thin membrane that attaches the top gumline to the upper lip, is tight or overly thick. Severe lip-tie can interfere with a baby’s ability to maintain a latch during breastfeeding. A thick labial frenulum can also affect the way the child’s top front teeth come in, often causing a gap between the two front teeth.


The Good News

There is hope. Tongue-tie and lip-tie do not have to be lifelong problems. In most cases, both tongue and lip-ties can be released with either a scalpel or scissors, or by laser. Lasers are a great choice as they do not normally require anesthesia. Laser treatment is also able to cauterize the area immediately, so there is minimal bleeding and minimizes any risk of infection. Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is proud to offer laser treatment for tongue-tie and/or lip-tie. If you are concerned that your child may have either of these issues, we encourage you give us a call.  Your visit will consist of us evaluating your child and discussing any issues we see.  We will also discuss possible treatment options and answer any questions you may have.

A Quick and easy solution to a frustrating problem - now, that’s Something to Smile About!





Summer is upon us. That means ice cream, popsicles and cold drinks. For some, even the thought of ice cream touching their teeth is enough to send them over the edge. That’s because they are experiencing the symptoms of sensitive teeth.

Sensitive teeth are usually a sign of an underlying dental issue, such as tooth decay, fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel or an exposed tooth root.

Our teeth are protected by enamel, which forms a barrier and defense against hot, cold, sour and acidic foods. Under the gum line, the tooth root is protected by a thin layer called cementum. Under both the enamel and cementum is a layer called dentin. The dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains small hollow canals.

When the enamel or cementum of a tooth is worn down, the dentin loses its protective covering. The hollow canals in the dentin allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. The result can be hypersensitivity.

Enamel can become weaker with age, a diet high in sugar or acidity and a history of acid reflux disease. Receding gums, which are typically a side-effect of gum disease or gingivitis, can also expose dentin and lead to sensitivity.


Tooth hypersensitivity is almost always a sign of a broader dental health concern. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to live with sensitive teeth forever. Sensitive teeth can be treated. Depending on what is causing your sensitivity, your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste

Toothpaste made for sensitive teeth contains potassium nitrate, an ingredient that, according to the ADA, helps to "depolarize" nerve endings in the teeth.

  • Fluoride gel
    Applied in-office, fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • Crown
     May be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Root canal
    If sensitivity is severe and persistent and does not respond to other treatment options, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

As with all dental issues, proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet are key. If your child is experiencing dental pain from sensitive teeth, or you have questions or concerns, we would love to help. Contact Anderson Pediatric Dentistry today at 864-760-1440.


It’s one of those major milestones that we can’t wait to celebrate with our baby. We wait months for it. And then it starts and we can’t wait for it to be over. Yes, I am talking about teething! Whether it’s the first tooth or the eighth, teething can be awful, for both the baby and the parents. From the constant drool to the fussiness and even the lack of sleep, teething can be painful- both physically and emotionally.

While every child is different, most babies will begin cutting their first tooth between 4 to 7 months and will have a full mouth of teeth by 2 to 3 years of age. What does this mean? You guessed it? The teething fun can last for years! The best part is that teething is different for each child, and even for each tooth. Your child might get his first tooth without any symptoms, but cry and drool for days when his molars come in. Or, your baby might drool and fuss for weeks when the first tooth arrives, then have no further discomfort when future teeth arrive.

For my oldest daughter, she screamed and fussed all morning long, then seemed to stop immediately after her first tooth came through. She never had any issues with any of the other teeth. With our son, he drooled nonstop for a month before his first tooth came through. And our youngest daughter wouldn’t eat solid food for nearly two days before her bottom molar came in.

Teething has many symptoms- excessive drooling, fussiness, lack of appetite. There are also some symptoms that many attribute to teething, but there is no medical evidence to support it.

For example, fevers. My wife swears that each of our children had a mild fever when teething. So, did the teething cause the fever or was it just a coincidence- three times? There are mixed opinions on this. Many pediatricians disagree that it’s related to teething and that the fever is probably due to some other infection or illness going on at the same time. Remember, at this age, a baby’s passive immunity due to maternal antibodies wanes and exposure to a wide variety of childhood illnesses occurs, often causing mild fever. Regardless, if your child experiences any fever over 101.4 while teething, you need to visit your pediatrician to make sure there is not an underlying illness causing it.

Diarrhea. While there is no scientific evidence linking loose stools and teething, this too, makes some sense. Many babies tend to have excessive drool when they are teething. For some, this goes on for days and even weeks. Some doctors believe that the excessive amounts of saliva can, in fact, be a factor in your child’s loose stools. However, many infants at this age are also starting solid foods and their diet is changing, which can also lead to diarrhea. In any case, if it seems excessive or if you see any blood in the stools, contact your pediatrician, as this is likely due to something other than teething.

So, what’s a parent to do? How can you save your baby from pain and yourself from losing your sanity? There are many teething-pain relievers that can soothe your baby's sore gums safely. Here are a few worth trying:

Chew Toys- plastic and rubber toys are great for soothing aching gums, especially when chilled. Choose the solid teething toys over the fluid filled ones and do not freeze them, as this can be too hard for baby’s gums.

Cold- Damp washcloths can be twisted and frozen. Tie one end in a knot to give baby something to gnaw on. (This also eliminates any exposure to chemicals in plastic teething toys.)

Massage- A light, gentle rub or massage might give your little one a lot of relief. Remember to wash your hands. Also, babies like to gnaw on your clean fingers, too. Remember, they don’t have teeth yet so it won’t hurt.

Medicine- When your baby is having a really tough time, ask your pediatrician about giving a dose of acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Note: Numbing gels or creams that contain benzocaine are not recommended for infants.

Essential Oils and Natural Remedies- While no scientific evidence exists to support the use of essential oils, many parents stand by their effectiveness and feel comforted by their natural ingredients. Whether using manufactured teething treatments or essential oils, make sure to follow guidelines on dilution and use sparingly. Before six months, stick to lavender and chamomile.

What NOT to do.

There are many tried and true methods for easing teething pain. However, the one thing we advise parents against is putting any type of teething necklace around your child’s neck, including the popular Amber necklaces. Without going too deep into this issue, there is currently no scientific data to support the claims that these necklaces ease teething pain or drooling. The risk of choking and strangulation is far to high to encourage the use of wearing these necklaces. In addition, many parents are purchasing fake necklaces that are not even made from real Baltic Amber. For more information, I encourage you to visit some of the websites listed below to see the research and data.

Remember, teething troubles won’t last forever and it leads to an exciting milestone! When your child has a mouthful of teeth and a beautiful smile, it will all be worth it!