Does teething cause fever?
There is no evidence to support that a high fever may be caused by teething in an otherwise healthy baby. A slight elevation in temperature may be noticed sometimes. Rest assured, teething is a natural process that usually does not hurt. For any discomfort, pediatric Tylenol or Motrin may help. Topical gels are not recommended.

How does topical fluoride work?
Topical fluoride - fluoride that is applied to the outside of the enamel - makes the crystals that form enamel more durable. Tooth enamel crystals that have fluoride are much more resistant to acid. They are less likely to breakdown and cause the tooth surface to become porous.

How do you prevent nursing bottle caries?
Try not to let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. Juice, tea, and milk have sugars in them that become acidic in the mouth and can cause tooth decay. And don't forget, breast milk has sugar too! Avoid nursing your baby to sleep. Liquids given in the bottle after age one should routinally be water only.

When should you think teeth are not erupting on time?
Sometimes infants get their teeth before six months. Some babies wait till a year before they get teeth. If it is much later than a year, consult your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

How should teeth be cleaned?
As soon as the first tooth appears in baby's mouth - brush it! Infants with new teeth may not take to an adult-style toothbrush. A wet washcloth can substitute for the first year. Do not use toothpaste until the baby turns 2 years old. Babies cannot spit and swallow and too much toothpaste can cause stomach upset. Discoloration of the permanent teeth, which are developing in your baby's gums can result from too much ingested fluoride from toothpaste during childhood. Use circular motions to clean all your baby's teeth with a small, soft-bristle toothbrush. Even if your child "wants to do it himself" be sure to assist until they are in the first grade!

Do thumb sucking and pacifiers cause malposed (crooked) teeth?
Only if the habit is beyond 2 to 4 years prlonger thumb sucking (or pacifier sucking) interferes with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of the teeth. This improper development, if not corrected, will change the appearance of the childs face.

If a tooth has a cavity, but is not hurting, what should be done?
All cavities should be filled in a timely manner in both baby and adult teeth. Remember, all large cavities started as small ones, and small ones are easier to fill at any age.

When teeth are discolored, what is that from? What should be done?
There are many cuases for discolored teeth. Some children are born with a condition that causes one of the layers of their teeth to be misssing. Oher reasons may be: trauma, tetracycline staining, fluorosis, iron supplements and diet.

What are the fluoride recommendations for NYC?
A small amount of fluoride (one part per million) has been added to NYC (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island) surface water supply since the mid-1960's in accordance with the new York City Health Code. No fluoride supplements are required.

What should be the timing of the first visit to the dentist?
First tooth, first visit to the dentist. Children should have their first dental evaluation at 6-12 months of age.

When should a child start flossing?
When the molars (back teeth) erupt, floss should be introduced to clean between them. Make this part of the childs nightly "going to bed" ritual. Many products are commercially available to make this activity fun! The parent/caregiver should do this for the child.

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