François Mauriceau (1637-1709) was the leading obstetrician of his day. His remarks on teething in his Traité des Maladies des Femmes Grosses et Accouchées (1668), a book that established obstetrics as a science, show that he was ahead of many of his contemporaries in rejecting centuries of superstitions; he even had the boldness, according to G. F. Still (The History of Paediatrics, Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1931), to deny any special virtue to hare's brain.

The child may it self be helpful if they give it a little stick of Liquorice to champ or a little end of a small new wax-candle, which is very good to soften the Gum: There is ordinarily made use of a Silver Coral, furnished with small Bells, to divert the Child from the pain it then feels. Sometimes instead of Coral they put a Wolfs [sic] tooth in. One must not however believe that these things have any peculiar property, as many Women imagine; but if they are helpful in this case it is because of their solidity, evenness and smoothness; for the Child rubbing his Gums with it to ease the Itching which it feels there, doth by degrees diminish the thickness of them, and so they are at length insensibly cut by the Teeth which are under. If these things do no good because the gums are either too hard or too thick, that the Child may not suffer so much nor, by reason of the great pain, fall into those accidents above mentioned, let the Gums be cut with a Lancet where the teeth are ready; Nurses use to do it with their nails but 'tis better to be done with a Lancet because 'tis not painful.

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