Dental

Gummies Vitamins Beware (Pedcast)

Hey, hey, and welcome to another installment of docsmo.com. I’m your host Dr. PAUL SMOLEN I want to thank you for joining me today and for making this blog such a success. You and your children are the reason that I put so much effort into this blog and let me tell you, it has been a very rewarding experience. This blog is beginning to catch on fire. In August 2014 we had 135,000 pages opened in just that month… fantastic. So here we go with another edition. Your free pediatric education continues. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t see a child who takes gummy vitamins. In my practice it is the norm. Why, I don’t know but it just is. These things are incredibly popular and why not, they taste great so the kids love them, and the moms feel like their doing something that’s helping their child’s health. And there is the rub which we are going to talk about more today.  Let’s break that down a little bit and let’s see if we are really doing something good with the gummy vitamins.

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Teething, Just the Facts Ma’am (Pedcast)

Transcript:

Welcome to another edition of DocSmo.com, your source for mp3s about pediatric topics.  This is your host, Dr. Paul Smolen–pediatrician by day, blogger by night–on location in the Low Country.  Yes, it’s vacation time, and me and the Mrs. are enjoying the unbelievable beauty of the South Carolina coast.  Before we get into the nitty gritty of today’s talk, let me remind my new and old listeners alike that I may or may not be your child’s doctor, and that I am not giving out medical advice specific to any one child… rather, general information about pediatrics.  For specific advice about your child, you need to visit the wonderful person you call your child’s pediatrician.

 

Today’s topic: “Teething…Just the Facts, Ma’am.  We are going to explore the essential facts about teething that new parents need to know.  So let’s get started, shall we?

 

Parents really seem to begin worrying about teething when their children come for their 4 month checkup.  I hear on a daily basis, “My infant is drooling and chewing a lot, is this teething?”  I really don’t think so.  At 4 months, babies still have very limited ability to control their muscles.  The muscles they do have the most control over are those of their mouth.  Ergo…chewing and drooling.  At this age, babies usually begin cooing and laughing as well; is this from teething as well?  I don’t think so.  The fixation that young children have with mouthing objects is their way of exploring the world, not a sign of teething in my opinion.

 

When parents bring their child for the 6-9 month checkup, parents often have infants that are still needing a lot of attention at night to sustain sleep.  I hear the same teething concerns at this visit: “This teething is terrible.  My child won’t sleep, chews on everything, and drools all the time.”  I will ask, “Does pain medicine help, Mrs. Jones?”  “No, it must be terribly painful because pain meds like acetaminophen and ibuprofen don’t help. We are up all night dealing with this severe pain.”  Then I ask, “What about during the day, is teething painful then?”  “No, it just seems to be at night.”  Hmmmmm.

My opinion again…Pain meds don’t help because these infants don’t have severe pain, but rather an overdependence on their parents at bedtime.  No daytime pain because the discomfort of teething is very mild.  No response to pain meds because, again, the discomfort is mild.  The problem is much worse at night because the main problem is that the child has not learned to become independent at night yet….For more on that subject, check out “Straight Talk About Sleep in Infancy.”

 

 

So what is the science behind teething?  Does teething cause fever?  Studies say no.  Does teething cause diarrhea?  Studies says no.  Does teething cause severe pain?  Not very often in my experience.  Is drooling a sign of teething?  Not in my opinion.

Remember, two things can happen at the same time and not be related.  Parents, are always looking to make sense of things.  I respect that, but it gets them in trouble sometimes.  A child can have a severe viral illness or another source of pain like a stomach ache at the same time that they are teething, which is affecting their behavior or sleep.  Those two things may happen at the same time but be completely unrelated.  Here is the point to remember: don’t attribute high fever or severe pain or diarrhea to teething no matter what Grandma says.  There is probably something else wrong with your child, and you need to get it checked out.

 

 

I don’t mean to minimize the whole teething process; there is something going on here.  Children get teeth all through childhood, and there is some discomfort associated with the eruption of teeth, just not severe pain unless there is a dental problem like an infected tooth.  Here is what I want you to remember about teething:

 

    • Never attribute a high fever, severe diarrhea, a major sleep problem or severe pain to teething.  Get your child checked out if they have any of these symptoms.
    • The discomfort of teething can be dealt with acetaminophen or a cool (not cold) chewing toy.  Make sure it is a safe toy!
  • My experience tells me that topical numbing drops are not very useful.
  • Remember, the eruption of teeth is not a real painful process in older children, so why should it be such a problem for younger children?  Think about it.

 

 

 

Thanks for joining me for this podcast.  If you learned something and I was able to enhance your understanding of a pediatric topic, that is great.  Feel free to check out other discussions of pediatric topics by exploring my website, DocSmo.com.  Get your free pediatric education with a simple click of your finger.  A mom told me the other day that she downloaded all of my content and made her husband listen to them on the a particularly long car ride.  Dad, I am sorry for that… 73 posts to date!  Wow.  This is Dr. Paul Smolen broadcasting from the Low Country of SC, hoping you got a little schooling on your child’s drooling.

 

Until next time.

 

 

1. http://www.webhttp://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teething/

2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/teething/FL00102

3. http://pediatrics.about.com/od/teething/a/0107_teething.htm

 

 

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Adopt a Healthy Dental Diet for your Children (Pedcast)

Transcript:

DocSmo, your pedcast host: you  know, those practical, portable mp3s that help educate parents on a vast variety of parenting topics from conception to confirmation.  Let me remind you that by listening to this pedcast, you are agreeing to my terms and conditions posted on my website.  I am probably not your child’s doctor, so for specific advice with regards to your child, please consult the wonderful person you call your pediatrician.

 

Today’s topic is a big one…the number one chronic disease in children: dental decay.  Healthy gums and teeth important for long term health. Many experts now think that heart and blood vessel disease that lead to heart attacks and strokes may be caused by poor dental hygiene.  Even Alzheimer’s has been implicated in the dirty mouth paradigm.

 

When I was child, I used to get sugarcane stalk to chew on all day; dental visits were terrible.  I have memories of dinner table discussions between my parents about what causes cavities.  4 kids, and expensive dental visits got them thinking hard!  They didn’t know that sugars in the mouth cause most decay.  They were busy giving me 5 cents to go to Fred’s Fruit Stand to get sugarcane to chew on all day!  Isn’t that ironic.

 

We know what causes dental decay now: Strep Mutans- bacteria that ferments sugars into acids  which melt the enamel off your teeth.  Diet has a lot to do with this process: frequent exposure of teeth to sugars is a recipe for decay.  The longer sugars are in your child’s mouth, the worse the decay.  Some children are lucky and get really good enamel, but not most.

 

Word is out about stopping the bottle by 1 and no bottles in the bed; now we have sippy cups that do the same thing. ”But I dilute the juice doctor”, I can hear the parents say. Remember, bacteria don’t need a lot to eat; even very dilute sugar can get them going and destroy your child’s dental enamel in a flash.

 

While we are on the topic of nutrition, here are some easy things you can do to reduce dental decay in your children.

  • Make sure your children brush their teeth at least twice per day when they are old enough.
  •  Use flouride toothpaste when they are old enough to spit it out and not eat it.
  • In between meals, drinks should only be water.  No dilute juice, soda, tea, or anything with sugar in it including milk.
  • Snacks should not be sugary or sticky; sugary and sticky is the worst (Ex: candy, soda, sugar gum, gummies including vitamins).  Instead, give them dental healthy snacks- popcorn, nuts, cut up veggies or fruit.
  • If your child is old enough, chewing sugar free gum after meals and snacks is great for your teeth…pulls out plaque and bacteria from creavices
  • At Halloween when they have all that candy, let them have fun for a set period of time and then remove the candy.  Their slow enjoyment could be very expensive when the dental visit time comes around.

Sounds like little things, but following these guidelines could really improve your child’s health and save you a small fortune in dental bills.

 

I hope you learned a little something from that discussion of dental decay.  Fast, practical and portable are always my goal.  If you like what you hear, invite your friends to listen.  And make sure you subscribe on iTunes or at my website, www.DocSmo.com by simply hitting the RSS feed button and signing up; a free pediatrics degree is here for the taking.  Please feel free to send comments to my blog.  I will try to answer comments and post interesting thoughts.

 

This is Dr. Paul Smolen broadcasting from beautiful studio 1E, that’s first child’s bedroom, east side of the house, hoping that you don’t delay protecting your child from dental decay!

 

Until next time

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SmoNotes

1. oralhealth.pdf (application/pdf Object)
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Little Teeth, Handle with Care (Pedcast)

Drinking is a big part of the infant/toddler experience. Knowing the dos and don’ts with regard to bottles and sippy cups is important for parents to know. Doc Smo lays out his views this important subject.

SmoNotes:

1.

Unlisted, Preventive Oral Health Intervention for Pediatricians. American Academy of Pediatrics, Dec. 2008. Web. July 2010 .

2.

Unlisted, Oral Health Risk Assessment Timing and Establishment of the Dental Home. American Academy of Pediatrics, May 2003. Web. July 2010 .

3.

Unlisted, Brushing up on Oral Health: Never to Early to Start. Healthy Living: American Academy of Pediatrics, 8 Feb. 2010. Web. Sep. 2010 .

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