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Teething & Essential Oils: A Definitive Guide

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin


Whew! Now that we got essential oil safety with infants and toddlers out of the way, we can move on to talking about the common issues facing parents with little ones under the age of 2. Now, take a second to think about what these common issues may be. I would almost bet that teething came to mind. If it didn’t, well… consider yourself lucky. Really, really, REALLY lucky. But for those of us who have had to deal with it, and those poor souls that are dealing with it as we speak, it’s a big issue.

Things to Consider

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Before moving any further on this blog post, I would like to encourage those who haven’t read our previous blog post on how to use essential oils with infants and toddlers to do so now. You can check it out here.

Once you’ve done so, you’ll have a better understanding of how to move forward. You’ll know which oils are safe to use, what dilution rates are safe to use, and why all of that good stuff is important.

I do want to emphasize the importance of only using KidSafe labeled essential oils. Oils like Cinnamon, Peppermint, and Clove are NEVER safe to use with small children, and should even be avoided for older children. But that’s a topic for another day.

Keep in mind as well that we do not recommend nor promote the internal application of essential oils. Please do not apply any essential oils, diluted or undiluted, inside the mouths of your little ones.

What & When to Diffuse

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Let’s talk about what to diffuse and when to diffuse it. Can diffusion really help with teething related dilemmas? Absolutely, more than you’d think!

One thing that almost always comes along with teething is meltdowns. Our little ones meltdown, and we ourselves as parents meltdown. It’s not a pretty sight. This is when diffusion comes into play. When you or your little one is at wit’s end, try diffusing some calming oils for 10 or 15 minutes.

Some of my top oils to help with these emotionally turbulent times are Bergamot, Lavender, Cedarwood Atlas, and Vetiver. If you are so drained that you just can’t fathom blending together oils for the diffuser, stick with an essential oil blend that’s already been created for you, Calming the Child. Just diffusing for a short period of time can go a long way to making everyone feel better, and that’s our ultimate goal here.

What & When to Apply

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So now that we’ve talked about what and when to diffuse, let’s talk about what and when to apply. We’ve tried all the fancy teethers, the frozen fruit, or perhaps pickles in a mesh pouch (nope, just me?). Nothing has worked thus far. SO now what? Can essential oils lend a hand? You betcha! But first, I’d recommend trying something gentler than essential oils.

A great friend of mine, Chamomile Hydrosol, can go a long way at helping to ease our little ones into more of a state of bliss. All you have to do is soak a warm rag into a little bit of Chamomile hydrosol and warm water, and gently rub it on the gums. For older little ones, you can even let them use the rag as a teether toy but only do this with supervision. After you’ve given gentler options like diffusion or hydrosols a try, it’s okay to move onto essential oils.

Roman Chamomile and/or Lavender are safe, gentle oils that can lend a hand during these troubling times. Using them is simple. Just dilute Roman Chamomile, Lavender, or a blend of both in a gentle carrier oil like Jojoba at a low, appropriate dilution for your little one. Here are the dilutions you should use for each age group:

  • For little ones 0-3 months, you should use a low 0.1% or 1 drop of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.
  • For little ones, 3-24 months, you should use a low 0.25% dilution or 2 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

Once you’ve blended your essential oils and a carrier oil, gently apply it to your little one’s outside jawline. Do not apply any essential oils inside the mouth of your little one, and be careful not to over apply. You only need a very little bit. This application can be done a couple times a day, as needed.