Monday, February 20, 2012

Natural ways to deal with tooth aches

Megan and her "Toothy" puppets.
 Last week the kids and I all had appointments at the dentist. We haven't been real regular visitors there as we don't have dental insurance (though we do have a health savings account which we use to pay for dental care) and visits for a family of 6 can add up very quickly. We do try to brush our teeth regularly (though I am thinking now that I should try to up that amount and maybe monitor the kids a bit more) and eat a healthy diet with very low sugar consumption but we did still find some cavities when we went to the dentist. Jonathan and I both had a cavity in our molars that they were able to fix while we were there and then Jonathan and Aaron also had one in their baby teeth.

  We didn't have the baby teeth filled that day because the dentist ran out of time and also Jonathan's was in one that should be coming out very soon anyway. However since we got home Jonathan's yucky tooth has been bothering him quite a bit (I wonder if the dentist's poking irritated it) and so we have been trying to keep him comfortable until he can get it wiggled out or if necessary get it filled.

  Our first thought with tooth pain was "Clove Tea". When Mara has had tooth pain before she has found that very helpful and it also tastes good and we had everything on hand. Jonathan liked it too and thought it worked well but mainly just while he was drinking it. So he was drinking it by the potful! I think perhaps he was appreciating the warmth of it as much as the cloves part of it.  He was still complaining though whenever he would run out of tea (though the last two days it hasn't bothered him very much which is nice) so I decided maybe I better look for other ideas too. Here is what I found:

  • Echinacea is good for your teeth. Echinacea acts as a natural antibiotic and antibacterial. It can prevent tooth decay by reducing the amount of bacterial in the mouth. Echinacea also can help stop toothaches. It has natural pain killing and anti inflammatory properties. I wish I would have harvesting more Echinacea this past fall- next year I will try to do so as we like to drink the tea as well.
  • Tea tree oil is another helper of teeth.  It is a natural antibiotic and antibacterial. It also helps to fight fungus. By putting tea tree oil on your toothbrush and giving your mouth a good scrub, your be killing off harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Tea tree oil can also act as a very effective pain killer bringing relief from toothaches.
  • Some other ideas that I found for using cloves was to chew on cloves, put clove oil on the tooth or make a compress using peanut butter and cloves to stick on the tooth. Clove oil is an antiseptic, antibacterial and an analgesic and is wonderful for the prevention of disease and infection.  WARNING-   It should not be used undiluted on the skin.
  • Turmeric is something else that is said to help. You can make a paste and stick it on the tooth. I have read that this is another anti-inflammatory spice (that can help with arthritis) so that is probably the benefit that you would receive from using it.
  • Cinnamon is another paste idea that I saw mentioned.
  • Take a clove of garlic, dip it in water and roll it in salt and then press it on the tooth. Jonathan was not very excited when I suggested this idea but I can imagine it would be good for you!
  • Rinse your mouth out with a glass which has been filled halfway with hot water and the rest of the way with Apple Cider Vinegar. Swish it around good and then spit it out.  This is said to relieve pain.
  • Peppermint essential oil and Chamomile essential oil are both said to be good for helping with tooth aches.
 The remedies above we have not tried as of yet and I cannot be sure of the sources (which I did list below) but I included these because they all seem to be pretty safe ideas using fairly normal things. I would love to hear if any of these are some you have tried and find useful. Also if you have any other natural remedies I would love to hear them!

Sources of information: My own use on some things, Ayurvedic Cure, ehow, hubpages,
I am linking this post to the Homestead Barn Hop at Homestead Revival.


JDaniel4's Mom said...

JDaniel loves cinnamon. I will have to remember these tips.

Abbi said...

Thankfully Jonathan doesn't seem to be having problems now but I was excited to find all these different things to try should anybody have a hurting tooth.

Emma Stoltzfus said...

In Rachel Weaver's book, "Be Your Own Doctor", she talks about actually healing cavities and cracked teeth with black walnut tincture. There are other remedies suggested for teeth as well. She has founded a company (Natural Answers) in Pennsylvania which makes all her suggested herbal tinctures and salves. But the recipes for all of them are in her book. Price for her book is around $20 - $25. I don't know if you can find these books online.

Emma Stoltzfus said...

Actually, you can get the book on at $24.30 plus shipping. It is my #1 book to go to because it is so practical and most ingredients are in my cupboards already. I highly recommend it!

Nola said...

One thing you might want to consider long term is electric toothbrushes. We bought one and then have different heads for it and then we all use it (well except my 3 year old at this point). Also, we always brush our kid's teeth rather than them doing it (3 and 6 years old). We also brush after every meal, even lunch, and try not to give sticky snacks. We also eat very little sugar or none at all and no juice except very occasionally. We drink water only between meals. Anyways not to say I have all the answers AT ALL but just some things to think about. I know that I was talking to a friend who didn't know she should be having her kids brush more than once a day. So far my kids have no cavities and I got my first one just a few years ago. But that's not to say like I said that its just because of these things but something to think about perhaps too.

My in-laws who have no dental plan (and a small income) had a lot of teeth issues and they switched to electric toothbrushes and now have very little issues compared to before. They got us thinking about it.

Kaley Baum said...

Those homemade remedies are going to be useful for when there is an emergency within the family. Clove tea is a great idea. In fact, it is being used in the world of dentistry nowadays because of its eugenol active ingredient. However, eugenol is only an antiseptic and anesthetic. Using large doses of it can be harmful to both the kidneys and liver. So, it would be wise to consult a dentist about it first because it may cause health problems if taken over the recommended dosage.

Abbi said...

Thanks everybody for your helpful advice! I so enjoy learning from you!


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