Teething can cause fever

When the first teeth come

When children get their first teeth is very different. The way in which this is noticeable also varies.

Does your baby sleep worse than usual, whine more and keep putting the little fist in its mouth? All of this could be an indication that the first teeth are erupting. On average, this happens around the age of 6 months. Teething causes problems for some children and causes pain and sleep disorders, for example, while others suddenly have the first tooth in their mouth and the parents did not notice anything beforehand.

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In what order do the teeth come?

A child's deciduous dentition consists of a total of 20 teeth, i.e. five teeth per jaw quadrant: the central and lateral incisors, the canine and the first and second deciduous teeth.

How long it takes a tooth to erupt varies greatly from tooth to tooth. Some teeth can push their way through the gums within a few days, others are only visible as a small bump for weeks before they break through.

The first teeth to erupt are, in most cases, the two lower front teeth (lower central incisors). Some time after that, the opposite upper teeth follow (upper central incisors).

This is usually followed by the two teeth to the side of it (lateral incisors), mostly again first in the lower jaw and a short time afterwards opposite in the upper jaw.

Next are usually the front molars above and below, then the canines and finally the rear molars. By the age of two and a half to three years, most children will eventually have fully developed deciduous teeth and teeth will be complete. Between the ages of 6 and 12, the milk teeth are then gradually replaced by the permanent teeth.

How do teeth announce themselves?

Various signs can indicate that a tooth is approaching:

  • Your baby sleeps poorly, is restless, whining and cries more often than usual.
  • Your baby is salivating a lot.
  • Your baby is increasingly sticking its own fist or objects in its mouth and chewing on it.
  • The tooth bar is red and swollen.
  • The affected area is sensitive to touch.
  • Some children have a raised temperature accompanying teething or even otitis media, occasionally general symptoms such as abdominal pain or diarrhea can occur. However, tooth eruption in and of itself does not trigger these symptoms - they stem from one of the many occasional infections that all children get at once. And especially during the teething period, the risk of infection in the child is increased.

Important: Not all babies show these or similar symptoms, with some of them teething is completely uncomplicated. Conversely, not all complaints that a baby has in this phase of life should automatically be blamed on teething.

Fever when teething

Some babies have an elevated temperature of up to 38 ° C when they are teething. If an infant develops a high fever, it is not a result of teething, but mostly an infection that happens to occur at the same time as teething. The cause should be clarified by a specialist in paediatrics.

Here's how you can help your baby

There are a few ways you can make teething easier for your baby:

  • Teething babies usually find it pleasant to chew on relatively hard objects; this relieves the feeling of pressure in the gums. Give your child a hard crust of bread or a carrot (never unattended!), Get a special teether or let your child chew on toys that cannot be peeled off and swallowed.
  • Some teething rings have a cooling function - if you put them in the refrigerator (not in the freezer!), They will then stay cool for a while. This brings additional relief, especially for swollen and reddened gums.
  • Toothbrushes for brushing your teeth, which have small nubs instead of bristles, are also suitable for chewing on and at the same time help you get used to brushing your teeth.
  • Sucking on the bottle can also be calming for the baby - but only give him water or unsweetened tea to drink. Constantly sucking on sweet drinks damages your teeth right from the start!
  • In drugstores or pharmacies, some ointments or gels are available without a prescription that can be applied to the mandibular ridge to relieve pain. Caution: some of them contain a high concentration (up to 30%) of sugar or sugar substitutes! Sugar itself can damage the tooth that has just broken through immediately, but sugar substitutes are also problematic because the child is trained to taste "sweet". Ask your pediatrician about teething aids that are sugar-free.

Some parents swear by the effects of amber necklaces. We strongly advise against this! Because on the one hand it is hardly to be expected that there could be any connection between a necklace and teething problems, on the other hand there is a proven risk of strangulation!

Painkillers from the pediatrician

If you feel that your baby is in a lot of pain, pain reliever medication may also help. However, especially with babies, any kind of medication administration must be discussed in advance with the pediatrician!

Proper care of the teeth

As soon as the first tooth is there, it also needs regular care. Even the smallest teeth have to be cleaned at least once a day - better of course in the morning and evening - at least with a cotton swab or a special finger cot. Regular and, above all, correct tooth brushing is an essential measure to prevent tooth decay and to keep your teeth healthy.

Teach your child right from the start that brushing their teeth is part of their daily rituals. Let him or her brush their teeth early on or chew on special baby toothbrushes and only brush a little afterwards.

Before using toothpaste, wait until the child can reliably spit out the toothpaste and not accidentally swallow it. After that, special children's toothpaste should be used.

Many pediatricians recommend fluoride tablets for children who are new to toothpaste. This is due to the fact that tooth enamel containing fluoride is more resistant to tooth decay.

In Austria, the natural fluorine content of drinking water is very low (in most municipalities less than 0.25 mg / liter), so fluorine tablets are often recommended. Consult your pediatrician for advice on this.

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Dr. med. Kerstin Lehermayr, Dr. Edgar Tichatschek (first author 2000), Dr. Peter Voitl (first author 2000), Silke Brenner (2019)
Medical review:
Prim. Univ.-Lector DDr. Peter Voitl

Updated on:

Voitl P: Teething from A to Z. Verlagshaus der Ärzte, 2012

By Cramm D et al .: Our Baby - The First Year. GU - Gräfe and Unzer Publishing Group, 2012

Largo RH: Baby Years - Development and Upbringing in the First Four Years. Piper Verlag GmbH Munich, 3rd edition 2010

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