Teething is a natural developmental milestone, but it can be very painful to babies and toddlers accompanied by inflammation of the gums. This can create sleepless nights for the entire family, and worrisome mamas.
The symptoms of teething include: one red cheek, pain/soreness in the gums, irritability and restlessness, insomnia, fever, diarrhea with a strong odor, swollen/distended abdomen, earache, runny nose, possibly phlegmy cough, and sometimes poor appetite.
In Chinese medicine, teeth are associated with the kidneys. The rising energy needed to push the teeth out comes from the kidneys. The severe symptoms associated with teething are related to the stomach and intestines, and this is because of the channels that pass through the gums. When teeth come through, it influences the flow of qi in the stomach and intestine (small and large) channels, causing irritation and stagnation of qi.
Even though it’s a major event for babies and toddlers, the good news is there are many home remedies and alternative treatment options. Here is a list of my suggestions:
1. Frozen washcloth: fold a washcloth and roll into a log, then wet 4/5th of the length with water leaving one end dry (for a baby to hold onto). Put it in a a freezer for about 30 mins and let your little one suck on it. It’s a good idea to have multiple of them handy.
2. Acupuncture and acupressure: There are two major points that clear heat out of the gums, stomach and intestine channels. (1) Large Intestine 4: Located at the web of thumb and index finer, this is a well-known point for headache. In fact, it’s a great pain point, especially pains located above the neck (head, face, ears, etc). It also releases heat and moves qi downward. (2) Stomach 44: Located between 2nd and 3rd toe at the web. This point is great at releasing heat from stomach. Press or kneed the point lightly for 3-5 seconds and release it, repeat for 5-6 times. For older kids, you can go longer. 15-30 seconds for infants, 30 seconds to 1 minute for toddlers. You can do this throughout a day whenever.
3. Homeopathic remedies: Chamommilla is used to treat teething difficulty and toothache. In addition, it can treat irritability, restlessness, anxiety, and pain that can go with teething problems.
4. Essential oil: Mix 1 drop of lavender essential oil and 2 TABLEspoons of a carrier oil (coconut, olive, etc.), then massage a small amount on the cheeks of the gum line. You can also use clove oil, instead of lavender oil. Myrrh oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied on the neck. Please make sure to use therapeutic grade oils.
5. Chinese Formula: Tender teeth is a tincture that especially formulated for kids with teething difficulty. This tincture can be used both preventively and remedially at the time of teething. It is available for purchase at our office for $22 (2 fluid oz).
6. Amber necklaces: Amber releases its healing powers into the body when it heats up from contact with our skin. The succinic acid in the amber is a source of its health benefits in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and even protecting from harmful radiation emitted from electrical devices.
And if you are looking for a unique idea, you can give your child a dried squid leg to gnaw on. Warning: this can cause very smelly house! (Although this worked great for my daughter, my hubby was not happy).
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 808-468-2459. firstname.lastname@example.org
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