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Home Remedies for Toothaches in Children

Toothaches (1)

Toothaches are no fun for anyone, but they can be especially distressing for children who may not understand what’s happening or how to communicate their pain effectively. While a trip to the dentist is always recommended for a proper diagnosis and treatment, some safe and natural home remedies can temporarily relieve your child’s toothache. In this, from Kids Dentist Boca Raton, we’ll explore some effective home remedies for toothaches in children, along with tips for soothing their discomfort and preventing future toothaches.

Important Note:  These remedies are meant to offer temporary comfort, not replace professional dental care. If your child has a toothache, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.


Understanding Toothaches in Children

Toothaches in children can arise from various causes, including:

  • Cavities: This is the most common culprit, as tooth decay can irritate the nerves within the tooth.
  • Gum inflammation: Gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, can cause pain and discomfort.
  • Teething: The eruption of new teeth can be painful for young children.
  • Injury: A chipped or cracked tooth can expose nerves and cause significant pain.
  • Abscess: An infected tooth can lead to an abscess, a pus-filled pocket that causes severe pain and swelling.

Signs and Symptoms of Toothache in Children

Here are some signs that your child might have a toothache:

  • Facial pain, particularly on the side of the aching tooth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Visible signs of decay or damage to the tooth
  • Irritability and trouble sleeping due to pain

Safe and Effective Home Remedies for Toothache Relief

If your child has a toothache, here are some home remedies you can try to provide temporary relief:

Warm Saltwater Rinse

 A simple saltwater rinse can help reduce inflammation and dislodge any food particles stuck between teeth. Mix half a teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water and have your child swish thoroughly for 30 seconds. Repeat this every few hours as needed.

Cold Compress

The coolness of a cold compress can help numb the area and reduce swelling. Apply a wrapped ice pack or cold compress to your child’s cheek near the aching tooth for 15-minute intervals.

Peppermint Power

Peppermint has natural numbing properties that can alleviate toothache pain. Steep a peppermint tea bag in warm water, let it cool slightly, and then have your child hold the moistened tea bag against the affected area. Alternatively, dilute a few drops of peppermint oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and apply it to the cheek near the tooth (avoid direct contact with the gums).

Clove Oil Comfort (Use with Caution)

Clove oil is a potent natural anesthetic with antibacterial properties. However, it’s important to use caution with clove oil, as it can be irritating if used directly. Dilute a drop of clove oil with a carrier oil and apply it to a cotton swab. Never apply clove oil directly to your child’s gums or teeth. Due to its strong nature, clove oil is not recommended for young children.

Chamomile Calm

Chamomile tea possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe gum irritation and ease toothache pain. Brew a weak chamomile tea, let it cool, and have your child swish or hold the moistened tea bag against the cheek.

Garlic Goodness (Use with Caution)

 Some cultures use garlic for its supposed pain-relieving properties. However, the evidence for its effectiveness is limited. If you try this remedy, make a paste with a mashed clove of garlic and apply it only to the outside of the cheek near the aching tooth. Do not put garlic directly on the gums or tooth, as it can irritate.

Additional Soothing Techniques

  • Distraction is Key: Take your child’s mind off the pain by engaging them in a favorite activity, reading a story, or watching a calming show.
  • Dietary Changes: Opt for soft, bland foods that are easy to chew, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, or soups. Avoid sugary foods and drinks that can worsen the pain.
  • Proper Rest:  Encourage your child to get plenty of rest, promoting healing and pain relief.


While home remedies can offer temporary comfort and manage your child’s toothache until a dental visit, they shouldn’t be a long-term solution. If your child experiences a toothache,  schedule a dental appointment for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible. Early intervention can prevent the problem from escalating into a more severe issue and causing further discomfort. Remember, prevention is critical. You can significantly reduce your child’s risk of developing toothaches by establishing good oral hygiene habits early on, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and scheduling routine dental checkups. A healthy mouth brightens smiles and contributes to your child’s well-being. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s oral health, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist. They are a valuable resource who can provide personalized recommendations and ensure your child’s teeth and gums stay healthy for years.

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