Debunking Three Common Teething Myths And Misconceptions
While your child getting his first teeth can be an exciting milestone, it can also be a tedious experience as there are a lot of concerns you have to deal with. What more, there are a lot of myths about the whole period that can confuse you. So, we decided to bust some of these common myths for you.
Myth no. 1: Teething will cause fever
This is a common one many people will tell you whenever your little one starts feeling feverish during the stage. And they will insist that it is just normal and he will eventually get over it.
However, you do have something to be concerned with about this. According to doctors, fevers that occur during teething are actually not directly caused by it. Rather, it might be a sign of sickness as your child’s defenses are slightly down. Thus, it is best that you bring him to the doctor if he doles have a fever.
Also, note that some of the symptoms of teething might be mistaken for actual fever. For instance, an increase in body temperature is common during teething. However, upon careful inspection, you will notice that the temperature increase is actually very small and can be dismissed. This goes for the other symptoms, which appear only when the tooth is breaking out and will eventually subside in a day or two.
Myth no. 2: Teething has to be treated
While parents have both gained a better understanding of the teething process over the years, there are some who actually consider teething as an ailment that has to be treated. This can be attributed to the parent’s desire to deal with the uneasy experience his child is having during the period. And sometimes, it can lead to interventions that can only make everything worse (as will be discussed below).
Again, you need to remember that everything that happens during teething is normal. Hence, you do not need to panic. Instead, use simple methods to help your little one bear with the discomfort. Some of which will also be discussed bellow.
Myth no. 3: Teething should happen at a particular time
On the average, a baby’s teeth start to come out by around 4 to 6 months. However, that does not mean that they can come out as early as three months. In fact, if is not uncommon for babies to actually have teeth when they are born, which are referred to as natal teeth.
In this case, there is nothing to worry about if the natal teeth sit stably within his mouth. If not, your child’s pediatrician might recommend having it removed. Do note that, if you are breastfeeding, special care must be taken so that the tooth would not dig into your breast or nipple whenever he latches onto you.
On the other hand, there are instances where your little one has yet to get a tooth by his 7th or 8th month. Again, this is normal. In fact, there are cases where kids to not get their teeth until they reach their first year. So, don’t be anxious, they will come. But if you are still concerned, you can have your kid check by your doctor.
Ineffective treatments you should watch out for
Along with the various myths associated with teething, there have also a variety of treatments that claim to help alleviate the symptoms. However, these might actually pose more dangers and thus, should be avoided.
Topical treatments are some of such products. These often contain the anesthetic agent Benzedrine. The belief here is that, by applying such agents to the area surrounding the budding tooth, it can relieve the pain and discomfort your child is feeling.
However, you have to remember that you are dealing with a young child. As such, there is a big risk of them accidentally swallowing the agent, which can lead to a potentially fatal condition known as hemoglobin. What more, there is no clear evidence that such preparations actually work.
On the other hand, some people would recommend that you give your little one medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen. While these are generally safer, they still carry their own risks. And as with the above, there is yet not enough evidence to support their therapeutic claims for teething.
As a final reminder, it is always best for you to consult your child’s pediatrician if you suspect that your child is having difficulties during teething. He will be able to better assess your little one’s situation and give you remedies that will actually work.