Does Your Infant Have Fever? It’s Not Because of Teething
Teething in infants is, on the one hand, cause for celebration: your infant is growing and their ability to chew is on the rise. That being said, teething also signifies many a sleepless night, high fever, restlessness, crying, liquid or acidic secretions, diaper rashes and the like.
The link between teething and fevers is an old myth and the subject of many scientific studies around the world. The findings: there is no connection between teething and fever in infants. Fever stems from an infection that takes place in the body, while teething is a healthy and natural process.
The medical community estimates that teething is often accompanied by fever because the teething process requires the body to exert extra energy, reducing the immune system’s efficiency. As such, the body becomes more vulnerable to viruses and infections, which, in turn, can cause fevers. Teething itself can also lead to a slight infection of the gums, which can lead to a day or so of low fever.
As such, if your infant sparks a fever while teething, it is important to treat it as any other illness, take your child to the doctor and relieve their symptoms with a fever-reducing medication designed for infants and toddlers.
What else should you know about teething?
Teething is a sign to start brushing your little one’s teeth: dentists recommend starting to brush teeth with the first tooth’s eruption, to prevent the development of plaque on baby teeth that can harm the growth of adult teeth later on in life. You can brush infants’ teeth with water and a silicone finger brush, sold at pharmacies, or a small, soft toothbrush.
Teething is the sign to say goodbye to night bottles or nursing: nursing or bottle feeding at night, without brushing teeth afterwards, can cause plaque buildup, due to the prolonged stay of milk in the mouth. Once that first tooth erupts, it’s a good idea to get your child used to drinking water, and water alone, at night.
Teething is also a sign that your child is ready for solid foods, beyond purees. As such, you can gradually transition towards chunkier consistencies, such as foods mashed with a fork, as opposed to pureed in a food processor.
Teething can be painful: With or without fever, feething brings with it much discomfort for many infants. Some infants experience relief when using a cold teething toy or from gentle finger massage of their gums, while others require pain-relieving medication (designed for infant use) to help calm their stronger pains.
Please note: It is not recommended to use any teething cream, gel, or medication that has not receiving the Health Ministry’s stamp of approval, even ones defined as natural, as they can contain alcohol or sugar (can cause damage, have not been clinically tested for effectiveness).
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