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Teething Truths and Myths

Teething Truths and Myths

When a baby is teething, a parent wants to do everything possible to relieve the baby's crying and discomfort. There are so many common infant ailments that affect babies, that it can be difficult to tell if teething is causing a particular symptom or not.

One thing that teething does cause is irritability parents of teething infants can attest to that! Your normally happy baby can become very fussy, and it can be hard to calm her. Teething babies often cry for long spells of time, or have problems sleeping or feeding, which only causes more distress.

Another tell-tale sign of teething is constant cheek touching or ear-pulling. As teeth reach the surface, they may cause pain in the ears, face or head. This can be worse when back teeth begin coming in, so if your infant is at the right age for new teeth and is always tugging at her ear or face, it is likely teething. However, if she is spending a lot of time pulling on her ear, you should take her to the doctor to see if it's an ear infection.

Many parents believe that a fever can be caused by teething, but physicians say this is not the case. A fever is caused by an infection or virus, so if your baby has a fever while teething, it's probably due to another cause. It is possible for bacteria to get into the openings where teeth are coming through and cause an infection, which is why a fever may seem to coincide with teething.

It can be frustrating when an infant stops eating while teething, and it's a common belief that teething causes babies to lose their appetite. Actually, this loss of appetite is not due to any internal cause, but rather discomfort from teething. You might notice your baby avoiding your breast or bottle nipple, but this is due to the pain she is feeling from new teeth, not because she isn't hungry.

Although drooling has long since been said to be a product of teething, it's not the teething itself that is causing the excess saliva. Babies who are teething are constantly chewing and sucking on objects to relieve pain, so any drooling you see is from salivary glands working overtime while your baby chews.

There are a few symptoms that experts are divided on. Certain parents swear that their child had a runnier nose while teething, but many doctors discount this and claim it's caused by bacteria entering the mouth from the hands or toys. Other parents say that their baby had diarrhea while teething, but there are pediatricians who disagree that this is a symptom of teething at all.

Talking to your doctor about your baby's teething symptoms before treating them is always the best way to determine the best course of action. Your infant's physician can determine if child's Tylenol is a viable option, or give you suggestions on how to relieve your baby's pain with over-the-counter teething gels or other remedies.


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