Every day I hear parents assert that “teething” is what is causing things like fever, diarrhea, diaper rash, even vomiting. Wrong.

The reality is that teething is a normal, natural part of growth and development. Teething doesn’t cause any of these things. If the teething child has these other symptoms, then he or she likely has a virus. In most children, teething only causes increased drooling and a desire to chew and bite everything. Some children will experience mild pain and irritability/fussiness as the gums become swollen and tender. In those cases a cold teething toy or some over-the-counter pain medication (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen) is most often helpful.