Not too long ago, baby numbing ointments were the recommended way to treat and bring comfort to a baby during the teething stage. It is now known that the numbing medication used in these kinds of products actually toughens the gum, whereby making it more difficult for the teeth to break through and causing more damage to the gums which creates additional and unnecessary pain.
With pain relieving products also comes a rather lengthy list of possible side effects and disruptions to the normal physiological processes within the body. It’s important to understand that teeth move by impacting. Babies will “teethe” for 2 -3 days, and then the teeth stop moving for one to several weeks, and then begin impacting again for several days. This can happen several times before a tooth finally peeks out of the gum line! This gradual movement helps to protect the integrity of the gums and allow baby (and momma and papa) some reprieve amidst the process.
There are much more gentle ways to bring “natural” relief…
Crushed Ice Sock
Putting some crushed ice into a tiny sock and letting baby chew on it until their hearts content can be entertaining for them, educational as well as sensory discovery, but also bring comfort to sore gum during the teething process.
Lavender, Cloves & Olive or Coconut Oil / Essential Oils
Cloves are an all natural pain reliever. Simply taking a whole organic clove and grounding it into a fine powder and then combining it with a high quality extra virgin olive oil and gently rubbing it onto baby’s gums. You can also use Clove Essential Oil ( a very very tiny amount as this is a very hot essential oil – we call this “residue” which is simply touching the top of the bottle and using the small amount of residue on your fingertip as your application ), mixed for dilution with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and rub onto gums. Homemade and all-natural baby pain relieving ointment! Line the outside of the jaw with Lavender essential oil to calm and soothe baby and the tension occurring within the jaw and gum line. If baby has a fever in conjunction with the teething discomfort, the essential oil combination is layered lavender, then peppermint along the hair line of the forehead and back of the neck.
Another Alternative ~ Homeopathic Teething Tablets
Another option for instant relief, as well as for moments of extreme discomfort late at night when sleeping is disrupted, you can use Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets. Homeopathic Tablets are a great option for little ailments. The simplest way to begin to understand how Homeopathy works is the understanding that ‘Like Cures Like.”
“Homeopathy demonstrates that a substance that produces a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person can cure a sick person experiencing those same symptoms. For instance, onions make your eyes water when you cut them. If you have a cold or allergies and your symptoms include a runny nose, the likely remedy to treat your runny nose would be Allium Cepa, which is made from onions.”
A tiny tablet is placed gently under the tongue or in the pocket of the cheek. Tablets dissolve very quickly in the mouth. When baby is very little, I usually recommend holding the tablet gently under the tongue, and kind of wiggling it in baby’s saliva for a few seconds, till it starts to get soft, so they don’t swallow it whole or spit it out. As babies get older and come into toddler hood, they will often open their mouths, inviting the tablet in, knowing that it will help them feel better, and it doesn’t taste too bad either. The tablets from Hyland’s come in different varieties for different ailments. Colic, coughs, earaches, colds, etc. Most natural food stores carry homeopathic remedies, as well as some local and general grocers. They can also be purchased online, by following the links below.
I do not recommend the “nighttime teething” tablets for young babies.
Homeopathy at it’s best… Simply rub a small amount of the oil along the jaw line to reduce swelling, internal bruising, and discomfort as teeth are making their way slowly to the surface.
Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces
DO NOT COPY OR USE PHOTO
Genuine Baltic Amber has been considered a natural remedy for hundreds of years. For babies specifically, it is known for its ability to sooth the pain associated with teething. Amber is a fossilized tree resin which contains succinic acid. When worn against the warmth of the skin trace amounts of succinic acid are released, and it is then absorbed into the skin, providing anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This means pain relief for teething babies in the form of a reduction in the inflammation of the gums, whereby allowing the emergence of the teeth with greater ease and often times even reducing the amount of drool involved with the process. There are options for babies and adults who suffer from arthritis and other pains associated with chronic inflammation.
- Bead Shape – Rounded, Chipped or Oval
The resin within the necklace usually lasts for about 1 year, but will recharge and releases succinic acid after having been exposed to the warmth and energy of the sunlight. So exposing baby to the sunlight for about 10-15 minutes a day helps it to release the maximum amount of succinic acid per day, not to mention the other health benefits gained from the absorption of sunlight.
Another thing to be aware of, is that the absorption from the resin into the blood stream takes about 2 weeks to reach its maximum effectiveness and REALLY see a very substantial decrease in discomfort. Many people take it off after the first day, when they don’t see a change. It takes a bit of time and consistency for the properties to work effectively.
Also understanding how teeth emerge. Teeth will gradually move, impacting for 2-3 days at a time and then they pause, and will move again days or even weeks later. Discomfort will naturally come and go during these times. Wearing the necklace consistently ensures that the inflammation is reduced during the time the teeth begin to impact again. This also allows the teeth to move with greater ease and less discomfort.
The necklace can be worn as baby sleeps, as it is very tiny and short, similar to a choker necklace, but loose enough to not be a choking hazard, and not long enough for baby to be able to grab it up over the chin and into the mouth. Some parents are not comfortable with baby sleeping while the necklace, and it is perfectly okay to take it off and put it on throughout the day, between baby’s sleep cycles. Just find what is comfortable for you. I find that more resin seems to be released while sleeping, since our body temperature rises as we sleep. Should baby break the necklace, which is EXTREMELY difficult to do, each bead is knotted into the strand individually so the strand stays together if broken, and no loose beads become a choking hazard. It really is designed well, with the safety and comfort of baby in mind.
Genuine and authentic Amber teething necklaces can be purchased online at
– or –
locally here in San Antonio, at
It is important that you purchase
“authentic baltic amber”
How To Spot A Fake Amber Teething Necklace
MATERIALS MOST OFTEN USED AS AMBER IMITATIONS:
Copal is sold as Baltic amber, but in fact this is very young tree resins( 1000- 1million years old). Natural inclusions are possible in Copal, but usually they are falsified. Insects are inserted in them that are too big and too good-looking. Copal melts at rather a low temperature (lower than 150 C ), and tends to melts rather than burn. After heating it diffuses the “sweet” smell of burning resins.
It is easy to distinguish glass from amber: it is more solid; it cannot be scratched by metal. Glass is cold and fireproof.
Frequently, this material is found in artificial amber beads. These amber beads have especially exact shape (oval, faceted), the color is very similar to real amber (dark red, cloudy yellow, limpid). After heating it does not diffuse the smell of pine-tree resins, which is characteristic for Baltic amber.
Celluloid (cellulose nitrate) is usually yellow and cloudy. Optically it is difficult to distinguish it from amber. Celluloid is more solid and not so combustible. After heating it diffuses the smell of burnt plastic.
This is a plastic made from milk. The beads have cloudy, turbid yellow color. It is a little bit heavier than amber. After heating it diffuses the smell of burnt plastic.
Modern plastic (polyester, polystyrene) are used to produce artificial amber and inclusions. Optically this substitute can hardly be distinguished because with it authentic amber colors and limpidity can be obtained. Like in Copal, falsified inclusions are too big (more than 10 mm) and clearly seen, inserted in the very center of plastic. After heating it diffuses the smell of burnt plastic.
Testing your amber for authenticity
Genuine and authentic baltic amber should release a “pine scent,” not a “plastic scent,” when heated.
All natural amber contains microscopic bubbles. When you apply heat to a single piece of amber, these bubbles evaporate and the amber becomes transparent. The greater the temperature, the darker the amber will become. This technique can be used to discern if the precious amber contains any inclusions. It is also used to add variety to the coloration of natural amber. It does not, however, increase or decrease the value of real amber or the healing ability of natural amber. Heat a needle point in a flame until it is very hot (after a long while with a long-handled kitchen lighter I finally got mine to glow a little), then touch the tip of the needle to a bead in a non-obvious area. If it smells like pine resin (think “christmas tree smell”), it’s likely to be true baltic amber. Now, the smell is not necessarily particularly pleasant and could be confused with plastic for that reason. You are looking for is a pine odor within the overall fragrance. Amber is fragile – sticking with a hot needle you will notice some cracks, while a needle will pierce plastic without cracking it.
There is only one case it may not be amber, and that is if it’s copal (immature tree resin) instead. Fortunately, the next test can help you distinguish between amber and copal.
The Rubbing Test
This is generally considered the simplest of the testing methods. (The best way is to rub into the palm of the hand) It is possible to heat real amber by rubbing until it releases the smell of pine- tree resins. This needs a very strong hand, as it is rather difficult to heat amber (especially when polished) to the necessary temperature, and it could be difficult to make an experiment with amber set in jewelry, as trying to rub it into other materials the amber could get scratched. Wrap the necklace in a soft cloth and rub rub rub – if it’s true amber it will become electrostatically charged enough to pick up small pieces of paper. Copal will not take on an electrostatic charge and may become sticky. (source)
The Alcohol Test
Both copal and plastic will deteriorate when they come into contact with a solvent. (source) “Plastics are quickly attacked by alcohol (95% ethyl alcohol), acetone (100%), and ether. A few drops of acetone (fingernail polish remover) or alcohol dripped over the surface of the piece will reveal if it holds up to the solvent. If the surface becomes tacky, it’s not amber. Amber will not feel tacky or dissolve under these solvents.” (source) You do not want to use an acetone-free nail polish remover for this testing method.
The Saltwater Test
Amber is so light that it will float in salt water. To test your necklace, mix together a solution of 1 part salt to 2 parts water. (For example, you could use 1/3 cup salt to 2/3 cup water.) Dissolve the salt completely and drop your necklace in the mixture. Plastic and glass will sink, true baltic amber and some types of copal will float. If you’re not sure whether your necklace is amber or copal, try the rubbing test.
The information contained in this Article has not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or otherwise. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional, but rather as a platform for further education and research on your part. It is always advised to discuss your health care decisions with your Care Provider, personally.