There is no medical evidence to support the commonly held belief that teething causes fever, colds, and diarrhea, although you may swear this is true!
When my daughter was a few months old, my husband blamed everything on teething. The first time I called him at work because I was frustrated after several hours of unexplained fussiness, his calm, all-knowing voice responded with, "Oh, she must be teething." Then, a few weeks later when her eating habits changed, he said, "Hmmm, I wonder if she's cutting a tooth?" This continued for months. Running a low-grade fever? Teething. Chewing on toys? Teething. Waking up at night? Teething. Sleeping eight straight hours? Teething. Pulling her ear? Teething.
The first tooth usually appears when a baby is between four and seven months of age, and by the time most children are three years old, they will have a full set of 20 baby teeth. How will you know when your baby is teething? Look for heavy drooling, which usually occurs several weeks before you actually see a white cap. You may notice that your baby's gums are swollen and tender just before and during this time.
If you believe your baby is in pain, there are several tricks of the trade other moms have used to help their little ones through this potentially trying time.
What you can do:
- Give him a cool damp cloth to gnaw on.
- Put teething toys in the refrigerator (not the freezer) to make them cool before offering them to your baby.
- Massage his gums by rubbing your finger gently along his gum line.
- Check with your pediatrician. Some doctors will recommend an infant's dose of pain reliever or topical medication to soothe a teething baby.