Tested: Teething Remedies


Thank goodness babies get teeth when they are small. And thank goodness babies don’t whine quite like they do once they become toddlers and start talking. Because it must be absolutely MISERABLE for those pearly whites to make their first appearances through the gums. Considering I have three children under the age of five, we’ve tried most all of the currently accepted means of relieving teeth pain in our house. Some worked for my first son Harrison, and others worked for my youngest son Reid. (Miraculously, teething pain misery seemed to escape my other son Clark altogether, or it was so bad I blocked it out.)

Various suggested teething remedies, we've tried them all (except for the bourbon.)
Various suggested teething remedies, we’ve tried them all (except for the bourbon.)

Nevertheless, even though my youngest Reid is just now mastering some vocabulary, there is no doubt the molars which are just now peeking through the gums are giving him fits. The excessive drool and the fingers consistently jammed in his mouth are the classic signs. And he’s still breastfeeding, and so he is seeking comfort there…several times a night. Of my three sons, Reid seems to have taken the teething pain the worst. I polled my personal Facebook page, asking people to list remedies they’ve tried personally in hopes to find a solution we haven’t come across yet. Unfortunately for us, we’ve tried all of the suggestions with my other two kids, but we will be revisiting some of them with the hopes that Reid (and mama) go back to getting some decent sleep. Below are the top 9 teething remedies, and my experience using these solutions.

Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets

teething tabsPer their website, these homeopathic tablets “have rocked the charts by being the #1 infant oral pain reliever in America! They make nights bearable, days livable, and truly make the teething years way more groovy. Easy to use, no mess, no fuss – Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets have perfect timing, right there whenever you need them.”

Verdict: These tablets were suggested to us by our first son’s caregiver back when he was suffering in late 2009. The tablets worked well for him. They were reformulated in July of 2011. I don’t know if it’s the new recipe or the fact that I’m using them on a different child now, but they do not seem to make any kind of difference in easing Reid’s misery. The bottle is nearly full, so I’ll keep trying.

Baby Orajel Natural Teething Tablets

orajel tabsPer the company, their tablets are “quick dissolving, homeopathic teething tablet from the #1 brand recommended by pediatricians and pharmacists, and trusted by more parents than any other. Using the naturally derived calming power of chamomile, each Baby Orajel™ Naturals Teething Tablet offers safe, effective teething pain relief for your baby.”

Verdict: I recently reached for these in desperation at 4:30 in the morning with the hope they would ease Reid to sleep. I’m not sure how well they worked, but they bought me an extra hour of sleep. I’ll consider that a win.

Baby Orajel Natural Teething Gel

As opposed to a tablet your child swallows, this gel is applied directly to the gums. It provides relief through the soothing power of chamomile and contains no chemicals.

Verdict: I swabbed it on my own gums and it irritated them. If it irritates me, then it has to irritate them too. I haven’t used the gel since.


aspirinAcetaminophen and Ibuprofen are over the counter medicines used to reduce fever and pain. Children typically take these products orally per a dispenser. The amount of medicine depends on child’s weight and age.

Verdict: Other moms and my pediatrician told me these medicines are safe to give when your child appears to be in pain. I don’t like giving my non-verbal child any kind of pain medication, so for now we are holding out. However, only one of his molars has broken through at this point and we’ve got three more to go, so I may give this a try in the near future.

Baltic Amber Teething Necklace

Sporting his stylish Baltic Amber teething necklace!
My son Reid sporting his stylish Baltic amber teething necklace!

Baltic amber has long been attributed pain relieving powers. This teething pain relieving mechanism is also considered controversial; detractors cite choking risks, as well as strangulation risks.

Verdict: I have several friends whose children wear these necklaces. I had the opportunity to purchase one through a local co op in the fall, and my son has worn it ever since. I haven’t noticed much of a change in his behavior recently, but when he first started wearing the necklace I did feel like he was soothed easier.


Teethers come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. They are supposed to relieve teething pain by providing your child something to chew on to soothe their gums as a new tooth comes in.

Verdict: We never had the popular Sophie the Giraffe teether (which hovers at number 1 in the market), but we had several water-filled teethers at our house over the years. These seem to do no more than to serve as something else for my son to abandon around the house after playing with it for a couple of minutes. I love the look of wooden teethers I’ve seen, but again, clutter.

Using frozen fruit/waffles/other bread products as teethers

strawberryApparently these items serve as another type of a teether, and are popular because you can find them in your fridge or freezer. Chewing on these helps soothe the gums (and could turn into a snack!).

Verdict: Ugh. Messy. I have enough trouble with stepping on half eaten food around here, and I am not thrilled about the idea of giving him messy food deliberately.

Rubbing Booze on the Gums

Old school remedy used back in the day to numb the gums (currently not recommended). Your grandma may have told you to use this method.

Verdict: I’ve had more than a couple of people suggest this to me. I’m not particularly comfortable with this method, so I’ve yet to try it.

Essential Oils

oilsPer My Natural Family, “apply lavender on the infant’s feet and then melaleuca or lavender on the gum. Other resources suggested applying Melaleuca, White Fir, Myrrh, On Guard &/or Clove (with fractionated coconut oil). Dab a little Clove on your finger and then rub it on the gums where the tooth is coming threw and within minutes the fussing stops.  If you choose to go with clove, be careful not to get any on the lips or tongue as it is extremely strong for an infant.”

Verdict: Not something that I’ve tried, but we aren’t at the desperation point yet.


Out of the remedies listed above, I found a few work some of the time; and NONE work all of the time. But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from having children close together in age, it’s that each phase goes by quickly; although it may not seem like it at the time. So for now, I’ll continue to try these methods and hope for the best. Because at least I know all of this misery will soon be but a memory.

What teething remedies worked for your little ones?  Did any of the options mentioned above provide relief?


  1. I no longer have teething-aged children, but I’m curious about the Essential Oil method! You’ll have to let us know if you ever try it.

  2. We’ve done the amber necklace and ibuprofen to help with swelling. Also not a big fan of the thought of using booze.. but my mom was! It doesn’t help with the pain but it does give the babe a TKO which I guess is all a Mombie really wants at the end of the day? Hahaha!


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