Tag Archives: children's dental care

Can Teething Cause a Fever?

My baby is a little over 8 months old. She keeps getting fevers. The doctor never finds anything wrong with her and I’m spending a fortune that I can’t afford to spend. Her gums are swollen, too. I was asking a friend about it who has two children and she said that teething can cause a fever and I should slit my baby’s gums so the teeth can come in more easily. Is this accurate? I’m not sure how to slit the gums? Does a dentist do this?


Dear Kathleen,

I’m glad you wrote. Being a mom can be stressful. You want to make sure you are doing the best for your child. Suddenly, you’re expected to be an expert on so many things.

The first thing I would say, emphatically, is to NOT slit your child’s gums. Your baby’s body has a very natural way of dealing with teething. The teeth will break through as they develop. If you ease the way for them, you will find the teeth can come in prematurely which will mean the roots do not have time to fully form.

This is especially important when it comes to your daughter’s back teeth. They have to stay in place until she is around twelve year’s old. With malformed roots, it will difficult for that to happen.

As for your question about whether teething can cause a fever, the answer would be yes. However, it would only be a mild fever. In addition to the fever, you may also notice more drooling than normal, general fussiness, pulling on the ears, and a diminished appetite.

If your daughter is having a hard time with it, there are over-the-counter medications that can be used to ease the discomfort she is in.

After she is able to sit up well for an extended period of time, you should look into getting her established with a pediatric dentist. One of the most common issues I see with young children is that parents tend to wait until there is an urgent dental issue to take them to the dentist. This almost always leads to some dental fear in the children that impacts their view of the dentist for years, sometimes for a lifetime. Getting them to the dentist before there is a problem gives them a positive feeling with the dentist and helps prevent anxiety.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. HIllary Peck.

My Son is Sick; What Do I Do About His Toothbrush?

I am a new mom and I never realized how much I did not know until my son was born. He’s got his first real illness and needed a prescription for antibiotics. I’m not sure what to do about his toothbrush. It’s probably got the infection on it. But, he’s still sick so buying a new one might reinfect him, right? Help! What do I do?


Dear Fanny,

I can tell you are a great mother. Some of the best moms are constantly trying to learn more to do everything they can for their precious child. You are caring and attentive to your son. Take a deep breath. You are doing much better than you think.

You will often see toothbrush companies promoting the idea that any time you are sick you need to replace your toothbrush or you will reinfect yourself. There is actually no real scientific evidence for this. In fact, the only study on the topic I was able to locate actually said the opposite. It was a 2013 study at the University of Texas that was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The results showed that transmission of strep throat via toothbrush did not happen.

The fact of the matter is that, even if you caught a cold just after another cold, it would not be the same cold. It would be a new strain. This is because your body develops antibodies to the strain you had.

If you are still worried, you can clean his tooth brush head with some ordinary household bleach. This will kill any germs and then you will rinse it off thoroughly and it will be fresh as the day you bought it.

One of the best things you can do for your son is start him off with a good pediatric dentist at a young age. It is important he goes to the dentist before there is a an actual problem. This way he associates the dentist with pleasant, fun experiences. Too many parents wait until there is a problem. However, then their first experience is a scary, painful one which will taint his view for years to come. You don’t want to introduce him to the dentist through a dental emergency.

I am sure you are going to do just fine as a mother. You’ve got this.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Hillary Peck.