Teething is a very tough stage for a baby and watching them suffer from pain is heartbreaking. The irresistible urge of gnawing at everything, swollen gums, irritable moods and lack of appetite are some of the prominent symptoms that mark the period of teething.
Therefore, to keep the little one less cranky and ease their pain, we bring to you some essential oils that can be extremely beneficial for the toddlers during their teething period.
Sounds interesting, right? Let us begin then.
What is teething?
According to the scientific definition, teething is referred to the process by which the infant’s first teeth (which are also known as the “milk teeth” or “baby teeth”) sequentially emerge through the gums generally arriving in pairs.
The process of teething begins when the babies reach six or seven months of age and by the age of three years, the complete set of 20 teeth known as the primary teeth has been grown.
Did you know that babies are born with a full set of teeth underneath their gums? It is only during the teething period that teeth start to cut through the gums.
The most common symptoms that are associated with teething are
- Mild irritation and crankiness
- Lack of appetite
- Chewing on solid objects.
- General fussiness
- Mild soreness and tender gums
- Red and swollen gums
- Discomfort and uneasiness
Now that we have the basic idea about teething, let us look at the solutions that we can provide for the little ones.
Essential oils for teething babies
You may wonder why we are suggesting to apply essential oils on teething babies.
Well, essential oils have been used as alternate medication therapy for a long time now. With its abundant medical properties, essential oil provides the following benefits for the teething babies
- Prevents infections or sores present in the gums.
- Eases the pain and also helps in calming the baby.
- Ameliorates the pain when teeth are going to come out of the gum.
- Reduces the swelling and inflammation of the gums.
Since the teething period starts from six-seven months and then continue up to three years of age, different essential oils are prescribed for different age groups depending upon requirement and sensitivity of the babies.
For babies four to six months of age
Babies of these age group are months are exceptionally sensitive. Proper precautions and care should be taken while applying essential oils to them. The essential that can be suggested to the babies of this age group are
- Chamomile oil- This essential oil is considered to be non-toxic and safe for babies.
When babies are teething, the gums become swollen and inflamed, chamomile oil with its anti-inflammatory properties can effectively reduce the inflammation.
It has also been noticed that due to pain caused during teething, babies can stay up all night. Applying chamomile oil can help you from the problem then. Chamomile oil is considered to provide a sedative effect on the body which provides relaxation to the babies.
- Lavender oil- Lavender oil is considered the safest essential oil to be used on babies. This essential oil abundant with antiseptic and analgesic properties is a natural sedative and can easily ease pain and distress from teething. It produces profound calming effects and can alleviate any muscle pains.
For babies over six months of age
For infants belonging to this age group, the essential oil can be applied on jawline as well as gums. The essential oils prescribed are
- Ginger oil- Ginger oil is famed worldwide for its anti-microbial and soothing properties. It is rich in anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and provides immense relief from the teething pain.
However, ginger oil should be diluted before usage as it has been noticed that it may cause severe irritation to the gums if not diluted properly.
- Marjoram oil- Marjoram oil has been used as an essential oil to treat muscle pain since ages. It can alleviate pain caused due to arthritis and can lessen muscle and joint aches. Due to its abundant analgesic properties, marjoram oil can be used for teething babies. When applied on the gums of the babies, it can ameliorate the swollenness and inflammation caused and can increase the circulation in the affected area.
For toddlers over two years of age
Teething is stretched over a long period. Although not as painful as the initial stages, teething pain can still cause troubles for the toddlers. Applying essential oil can not only curtail the suffering but can also help in strengthening the gums and roots of the teeth.
The essential oils recommended during this period are
- Clove bud oil- Clove bud oil is the most popular essential oil to be used for dentistry. It is also extensively used in dental preparation for adults. However, for babies, it should be used moderately.
Due to the presence of eugenol compound, clove bud oil is a powerful antiseptic and analgesic essential oil. It helps in numbing the pain, relieves sore gums and teeth and also curtails dental cavities.
- Copaiba oil- Copaiba oil is a mild essential oil which is extensively used against the teething problem.
Copaiba oil is abundant in Beta-caryophyllene which increases the body’s ability to fight against irritations.
How to use essential oil for teething?
As essential oils are being used for babies, some precautions and care should be kept in mind.
Essential oils should not be directly used on the babies. As babies are extremely sensitive, dilute the essential oil and then the application should be performed.
A patch test should also be performed to check whether the baby is allergic to the essential oil or not.
Some of the common methods used are:
- Apply light pressure directly on the gum and massage the affected area.
- Soothe the affected gums from outside by applying the essential oil on the gum line.
- You can also diffuse diluted essential oil throughout the room. However, this practice is generally not recommended because it may cause some serious respiratory problems in babies.
There you go, some recommendations to soothe the pain of the little ones. Teething is painful and with the prevention of application of any teething gels on the babies, the suffering of the babies is always disheartening. Essential oils help in ameliorating the pain, however, if discomfort and uneasiness continue alongside with fever, consult a doctor immediately for proper treatments and medications.