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Is Teething Really Making My Baby Sick?

The truth about teething... Is it really making my baby sick?

“Teething” gets blamed for everything: fussy baby, inconsolable crying, sudden fever. Can teething really cause this much trouble?

Dr. Leila Denmark, history’s longest-practicing pediatrician, must have heard this diagnosis hundreds of times from her moms. What was Dr. D.’s response?

Hi, I’m Madia. I have eleven children and one of the greatest privileges of my life was to know Dr. Leila Denmark. She practiced pediatrics for over 75 years and was my mentor for 32 years.

I can hardly express how much she helped me, both with the children’s medical issues and family life challenges. I would love to share what she taught me with you.



Many generations of American women have believed in “teething” as an intermittent condition needing attention and treatment. We are told that it can cause illness, fever, excessive pain and serious irritability.

My great-grandmother, Lottie Witherspoon Bell, actually had her baby Henry’s gums lanced by a physician to reduce what she thought was pain from teething. Dr. Denmark rejected this notion of teething. She said, “A child actually begins to teethe five months after conception and continues to do so for approximately eighteen years with no serious symptoms other than minor discomfort from erupting teeth.”

If your baby is truly sick, don’t blame it on “teething.” Look for another cause. Recently our daughter Emily mentioned slight soreness in the back of her mouth. We also noticed a small flap of skin on her gum: twelve-years molars were coming through. It’s clear that she is still teething!

Although Dr. Denmark rejected the common notion of teething, she emphasized the importance of good dental care. As children grow, they should be instructed in dental hygiene and taken to a good dentist. Avoid foods which contribute to tooth decay. Sodas and sweet snacks are major culprits. Neglected teeth can become abscessed and wreak havoc with a child’s overall health.

Teething Grandbaby Brielle

For more information on feeding schedules, positioning infants, sleep training and other fundamentals of childcare order your copy of Dr. Denmark Said It! today.

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