When a baby starts to grow teeth, we call this teething, but this word comes from a medical practice that began in France in the 16th century. When a baby’s teeth would begin the process of coming through the gums, doctors would take a scalpel and slice open the tissue over the teeth to allow them to come through. Cutting teeth began in France but eventually spread throughout Europe and into the United States. Unfortunately, the practice of cutting teeth was performed until the early 20th century. It is unknown how many children died from teething, but the lack of sterile tools and the trauma inflicted on the young children often resulted in death.