Parents' and medical personnel's beliefs about infant teething

Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Apr;57(1):122-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2004.05.005.


Many symptoms are attributed to teething. Little evidence exists to support these beliefs, despite their implications on clinical management. This study attempted to investigate parental and medical personnel's beliefs about teething. The study was conducted by means of a questionnaire, submitted to 55 pediatricians and 130 nurses. A parent survey was conducted simultaneously. We evaluated 462 questionnaires. An association of teeth eruption with infant morbidity was believed to exist by 76% of the responders, mostly by parents and nurses, and less so by physicians. Irritability, fever, and loose stools/diarrhea were believed to be the most common symptoms associated to teeth eruption. We conclude that almost all parents, the majority of nurses, and many physicians believe that teething is associated with the appearance of symptoms, most of which are minor and relate to discomfort rather than physical illness, but a substantial minority still ascribes potentially serious symptoms to teething.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / etiology
  • Fever / etiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Personnel / education
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Welfare*
  • Irritable Mood
  • Israel
  • Morbidity
  • Nursing Staff / education
  • Nursing Staff / psychology
  • Otitis / etiology
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Pediatric Nursing / education
  • Pediatrics / education
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Sialorrhea
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth Eruption*
  • Urban Population