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Homeopathic Remedies for Teething

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Teething is always uncomfortable, but some babies and toddlers feel more miserable than others. Episodes begin around four months of age and occur at intervals until age two or later. Babies are usually cranky or tearful, drool profusely, and feel a need to press their gums or bite down hard on toys. Sometimes a teething baby refuses to eat or nurse. The stress and discomfort of teething can lower a child’s resistance to infection. Runny noses, rashes on the chin, spitting up of swallowed saliva, or mild diarrhea can occur without infection—but fever and symptoms of actual illness are not “just teething.” Any illness needs attention of its own. Homeopathic remedies are a safe, non-toxic way to help relieve the pain and make the baby happier.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Aconitum apellus: If teething is very painful, and the baby seems agitated or fearful, this remedy can often bring relief. The baby’s face may be flushed, the gums may look inflamed, and sleep can be very restless.

Belladonna: Intense inflammation and gum pain, with flushing of the face and a feeling of heat, often indicate a need for this remedy. The baby is restless, easily startled, and may tend to cry out during sleep.

Calcarea carbonica: If teething is late to begin, then slow and difficult, this remedy can be helpful. The baby may seem sad or anxious with the pain, making chewing motions and pressing his gums together, often even while sleeping. Babies who need this remedy are usually chubby, slow to learn to crawl or walk, and their heads often sweat during naps or sleep at night.

Calcarea phosphorica: This remedy may be helpful to a child whose teeth are late to come in, with aching in the gums and trouble sleeping. Irritability, picky eating habits, and stomachaches are other indications. A child who needs this remedy often is allergic to many foods and may tend toward early tooth decay.

Chamomilla: This remedy is often indicated when a child seems extremely irritable or angry and the pain appears to be unbearable. Babies may feel agitated, scream and hit, and want to be rocked or carried constantly to distract them from the pain. The gums may be so tender that touching them is intolerable — or they may feel better from hard pressure and biting down on something cold. Greenish diarrhea that occurs because of teething stress is another indication for Chamomilla.

Coffea cruda: This remedy can be helpful when a child seems excitable and has trouble sleeping because of teething pain. Distressing pain in the gums often is relieved by holding something cold on them.

Ignatia: If a child seems very emotional, upset, or sad because of teething, this remedy may bring relief. The baby’s sleep may be light and restless, with jerking or twitching in the arms and legs.

Kreosotum: This remedy may be helpful if the child has irritating saliva and severe discomfort during teething. Teeth that decay soon after coming in often indicate a need for Kreosotum.

Magnesia phosphorica: This remedy is often helpful for painful teething, relieved by pressing on the painful area and by heat. The baby may seem happier when drinking something warm from a cup or bottle, or when biting down on an object. A warm washcloth or hot water bottle held against the cheek may also help relieve the pain.

Phytolacca: This remedy may be indicated if a baby with teething pain constantly presses his or her gums together very hard, or tries to bite down on anything in reach.

Pulsatilla: A baby who is very tearful during teething and wants to be constantly held and comforted may respond to this remedy. Biting on something cold may help and warmth increases discomfort. Cool food and drinks or being out in open air also bring improvement.

Silicea (also called Silica): Slow, difficult teething that makes the baby tired and nervous may be helped by this remedy. Children who need Silica often have fine hair and seem a little delicate, with low resistance to colds or other illnesses.

Sulphur: This remedy may be indicated if a reddish irritation or rash develops on the baby’s chin or diaper area during teething episodes. Diarrhea (often whitish) may occur because of stress. The baby is irritable and anxious, feeling worse from being warm.

Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

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