Dr. Camps Pediatric Dental Center

Dr. Camps Fall 2011 Newsletter: Volume 3, Issue 4

Teething May Not Be Linked to Fever
Study Shows Infants Don't Get Fevers When Their Primary Teeth Erupt

Teething Infant

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News
August 8, 201

Teething and fever don't usually go together, according to new research. That may come as a surprise to both parents and doctors, says researcher Joana Ramos-Jorge, a PhD student in pediatric dentistry at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

She polled the parents of 47 Brazilian infants, ages 5 to 15 months, while the infants were teething, to see what symptoms accompanied it. "The most significant result of this study was that fever and primary tooth eruption aren't associated," Ramos-Jorge says in an email interview.

Based on that finding, she says, parents and doctors should not automatically blame teething for a high fever. It may be related to something else, and that needs to be investigated, she says. She did find some common symptoms of teething, such as increased saliva. And these symptoms usually appear the day the tooth eruption begins, making it difficult to predict teething.

Her study is published online in Pediatrics.

Symptoms of Teething

The infants in the study had up to seven erupted teeth when the study started. They did not have a history of conditions that could cause symptoms related to teething. The researchers visited the infants' homes daily over an eight-month period. They took the babies' temperature inside the ear and under the arm. The researchers asked the mothers to describe any symptoms their baby had in the last 24 hours. The symptoms were recorded every day on a chart. It was also noted on a daily basis if the tooth was erupting or not.

In all, 231 teeth erupted during the study. On average, each baby had nearly five teeth erupt. The temperature, when taken both by ear and armpit, rose slightly on eruption days. However, teething and fever were not linked. The highest temperature recorded was 98 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a rectal reading of 100.4 degrees or less or an oral reading of 99 degrees or less is considered normal.

Most common symptoms of teething reported by the parents included:

  • Irritability
  • Increased salivation
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite

Other symptoms reported were diarrhea, rash, and sleep problems.

Teething Ring Helps With Pain

The new findings duplicate those of some previous research, says Rhea M. Haugseth, DMD, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She is a pediatric dentist in Marietta, Ga.

Even so, she does think most parents would be surprised to know fever isn't found to be linked with teething.

"If a child has a fever and is teething at the same time, parents need to be looking at other potential causes of that fever," she tells WebMD. She reviewed the findings for WebMD. In her experience, she finds babies most often have crankiness and increased saliva. Some have diarrhea. However, some babies may have a mild fever, she says.

To help teething pain, she says parents should not use topical gels. There is a risk of toxicity, she says. Instead, she advises parents to offer the child a teething ring or a cold washcloth to chew on. In a safety announcement from April 2011, the FDA states that over-the-counter gels and liquids with the ingredient benzocaine should not be used on children under age 2 unless supervised by a health care professional.

Tooth Fairy Latest Victim of the Economy

Tooth Fairy

by Lesley Kennedy
July 28, 2011

Cutting back on cable, new clothes and trips to the gas pump are all indicators of a bad economy, but when the Tooth Fairy starts shorting kids, you know things are serious. The Denver Post reports U.S. kids are getting an average of $2.60 a tooth these days, compared with $3 a year ago, according to a recent survey by Visa. For those who don't like math, that's $.40 less than last year -- but still a heck of a lot more than we used to get, when a quarter was considered a score.

Thorton, Colo. fourth grader Alicya Rodriguez tells the Post she gets a $1 a tooth. She may want to have a word with the Tooth Fairy. The average amount traded for teeth in the West is $2.80, while kids in the East get $2.10, kids in the South get $2.60 and kids in the Midwest get $2.80. "The survey gives parents the opportunity to start talking with kids - even pretty little ones - about money management," Jason Alderman, Visa's senior director of financial education, tells the newspaper.

Not sure what you, er, the Tooth Fairy, should spend per tooth? Dr. Rhea Haugseth, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tells the Post parents should just be reasonable, and pay no more than $5. "I tell them there are 20 baby teeth and they need to think about what that could cost," Haugseth tells the newspaper. Best start saving now.

Baby Teeth Are Important!

Young Girl

By Jean Sheff
October 2010

Martin J. Davis, D.D.S. is on a mission. As spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a pediatric dentist and father of two, Davis seeks to educate the 97 percent of parents who have no idea that their child should visit a pediatric dentist by their first birthday. "I have heard parents say, 'baby teeth aren't important, they are just going to fall out anyway.' Nothing could be further from the truth," he says. Consequently, the AAPD has made it a top priority to educate parents on the importance of infant oral health.

Well Care

After a baby is born parents are encouraged to take their infant to a pediatrician for well care visits. There the baby receives the required immunizations and is examined to make sure they are progressing properly. The same is true of a child's dental needs. At the age of 1 all children should make a well care visit to a pediatric dentist. "The first visit is primarily educational," says Davis. The dentist will assess your child's risk for future dental issues and learn about any genetic predictors that may affect your child's dental health. The dentist also looks to educate the parents on proper oral heath care and warn them about some dangerous practices such as allowing a child to fall asleep with a bottle filled with Hawaiian Punch. The visit also acquaints your child with the dentist in a friendly manner, helping to alleviate any possible fears. "If you don't think it matters consider that children ages 2 to 5 are admitted to the hospital most frequently to have their teeth fixed," says Davis. Currently, 28 percent of children under the age of 5 have cavities, a statistic that has risen over the last decade.

More Than Appearance

Aside from appearance, which alone can affect self-image, the role baby teeth play is very important. "Baby teeth control the growth pattern of the face and can affect a child's speech," says Davis. If the baby teeth become infected the adult teeth that reside below the gum can become misshapen and discolored. How serious can the health of baby teeth be? Davis shared a real worst-case scenario. A youngster named Diamonte Driever of Maryland was a Medicaid patient and his parents could not find a doctor who would treat his cavity. The infection ultimately caused a brain abscess, which lead to the child's death. If finances are a problem Davis recommends parents contact local hospitals or dental schools, such as those at Columbia and New York University, as dental care there may be more affordable. The best of all practices is prevention. By introducing proper oral hygiene at a very early age you are helping your child develop good habits which ultimately save them unwanted discomfort and you unnecessary expense.

Proper Practices

Davis has several important recommendations that can help your child have healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.

  1. CUT SNACKS – Frequent snacking causes a rise of acid in the mouth, which increases the risk for cavities. Snacks include beverages such as apple juice.

  2. STOP USING BOTTLES – Davis says children should be off the bottle by age 1. You should also look to wean them from the sippy cup as soon as possible and refrain from placing a pacifier on a rope around their neck, which in itself is a dangerous practice.

  3. START DENTAL HYGIENE AT 6 MONTHS OLD – Clean your baby's teeth with a soft clean washcloth to remove plaque. You can sit down on the floor with the child and do this in a relaxed manner to get the child used to the routine.

  4. BRUSH THEIR TEETH – Children do not develop the necessary eye/hand coordination to properly brush their teeth until about age 6, so parents should be prepared to do the brushing.

  5. FLUORIDE – Fluoride can promote dental health. Check to see if your tap water is fluorinated. If not, you can obtain fluoride drops for your child. But too much fluoride can cause problems. So if you use toothpaste that also contains fluoride be careful to use a very small amount (pea sized dab) when you brush your child's teeth.

  6. SUPERVISE – As your child becomes old enough to brush by themselves make sure to supervise the process. Introduce flossing as soon as permanent teeth appear and space between the teeth make tight contact.

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