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Teething

By

Christopher P. Raab

, MD, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Last full review/revision Aug 2021| Content last modified Aug 2021
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Before a tooth appears, the child may cry, be fussy, and sleep and eat poorly. The child may drool, have red and tender gums, and chew constantly on objects like toys and crib rails during tooth eruption.

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Teething does not cause fever Fever in Infants and Children Normal body temperature varies from person to person and throughout the day (it is typically highest in the afternoon). Normal body temperature is higher in preschool-aged children and highest... read more Fever in Infants and Children (temperature of 100.4° F or 38° C or higher). Children who have fever and who are especially fussy should be evaluated by a doctor for an infection because these symptoms are not caused by teething.

Did You Know...

  • Despite popular belief, teething does not cause fever.

Teething infants get some relief from chewing on hard objects (such as teething biscuits) or cold objects (such as firm rubber or gel-containing teething rings). Massaging the child's gums with or without ice also may help. If a child is extremely uncomfortable, weight-based doses of acetaminophen or ibuprofen are usually helpful.

Teething gels are not recommended because they are not any more effective than other measures of pain relief, and some contain a potentially dangerous substance called benzocaine. Benzocaine can rarely cause a serious condition called methemoglobinemia, which affects the ability of the blood to carry oxygen.

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Separation Anxiety and Stranger Anxiety
An important part of normal development is an infant’s growing attachment to its parents. As this bond strengthens, the infant may express fear or anxiety when the parents leave. This “separation anxiety” typically begins at around 8 months of age and resolves at around 24 months of age. Which of the following is the normal and expected infant behavior in reaction to a parent leaving the room during the time period of separation anxiety?
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