Teething: myths and facts

J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2010 Fall;35(1):9-13. doi: 10.17796/jcpd.35.1.u146773636772101.


From grandmothers to medical professionals, everyone seems to have a list of symptoms they believe are linked to teething. During this time period of an infant's life, passive immunity due to maternal antibodies wanes and exposure to a wide variety of childhood illnesses occurs. Parental false beliefs associated with teething may interfere with the prompt diagnosis and management of a range of serious illnesses. Strong parental beliefs which are not borne out by evidence will unlikely change until professionals (most of whom are also parents) change theirs. Therefore, there is a need to know the facts and the false beliefs attributed to teething. Medical professionals need to be educated about teething to provide reasonable explanations to concerned caregivers. This article examines the signs and symptoms frequently attributed to teething and their possible alternative causes. The contemporary principles of the management of teething are discussed, including supportive care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Folklore
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Tooth Eruption / physiology*