Separating Fact from Fiction: Infant Teething

Clay Jones:

Though we have come a long way in our understanding of human physiology since the 19th century, there remains widespread misunderstanding of what symptoms can reasonably be attributed to teething. Parents and other caregivers are quick to list fever, difficulty sleeping, fussiness, drooling, changes in feeding amount and frequency, nasal congestion, and diarrhea, in addition to the most frequently cited symptom of pain, but the evidence has not been very supportive of these beliefs. To put it bluntly, it does not appear that the eruption of a tooth can be successfully predicted by any collection of symptoms. I have spoken to many parents who believe that their child has been teething for weeks without a tooth revealing itself. It just doesn’t work that way.

While listening to the latest episode of Dads Being Dads, the hosts mentioned this article as a follow-up to their discussion of so-called “amber teething necklaces,” a product that I hadn’t heard about up until that point. While I’d like to say that I’m surprised that people would buy into such snake oil peddling—well, I’m not. Linked-to as an update to that that piece, which I’m sad to see has to include the following disclaimer:

This article assumes you are happy to accept science as the best way of discovering the truth about the natural world

was the Jones piece. It kind of blew my mind. If you’re a parent of an infant of teething age, it’s going to blow your mind as well.