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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
Aconitum napellus: 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
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.
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.
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
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
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individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
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