About the Illness

A child's first teeth will start coming through between 3-16 months, although it is usually around 6 months. The 2 bottom teeth will be the first to show, followed by the 4 upper teeth in 4-8 weeks. Children will continue to get new teeth until they have all 20 primary teeth at around 3 yrs old. Most children will grow 4 new teeth every 4 months or so.

Common Symptoms

Irritated/swollen gums; grinding gums; biting breasts during feeding (HIV+ mothers should be very careful at this time to avoid transmission); putting anything into mouth to try and soothe the gums.

Children's Issues


Important Information


Herbal Therapy

If your baby is experiencing a lot of discomfort, try to relieve it by using one of the following remedies:
Maize Cob Ash Apply a little powdered ash to the gums as necessary.    

The ash of different plants is used for many different medical applications.
Follow these instructions for preparing each kind of ash:
  • Banana Ash - Dry banana skin then put it in a clean, dry saucepan and place this over the heat. Leave it in the saucepan until it burns to ash.
  • Maize Cob Ash - Place the maize cob in the fire and allow it to catch alight. Take it out while still aflame and leave it to burn on a clean metal surface (or in a saucepan). Once it has burned, crush it to ash.
  • Bean Ash - Use the dried remains of any part of the bean plant (the pods or husks are particularly good for this). Put the dried remains in a clean,    dry saucepan and place it over the heat until the contents burn to ash.  As these burn, add more of the dried bean plant until these too burn to ash.

Good for:Baby
Oxalis corniculata Leaves Crush leaves and apply to gums as necessary.

Good for:Baby
Sapium ellipticum Leaves Crush the leaves and apply to gums as necessary.

Cold Water Extract
  • This is used to extract ingredients that are destroyed by heat.  
  • For the best results, cut leaves into small pieces or pound roots with a mortar and pestle.  
  • Soak plant parts in water overnight unless the recipe advises otherwise.
  • Filter before use.
  • Prepare freshly every day.

[Cold Water Extract]
Good for:Baby

Food and Nutrition Advice

  • Give plenty of liquids.
  • Feed your baby easily digestible, warm, mashed food.
  • Do not feed your baby sugar or salt for first year.

Body Work and General Advice

  • When babies are teething, they like to put things in their mouths to chew. You can give them teething rings, or hard vegetables like carrots. But it is important that you practice good hygiene and only allow your baby to put clean things in her mouth. This will stop the baby from catching other infections.
  • Many people believe teething causes fever and diarrhoea. This is not true. If your baby is experiencing fever and diarrhoea this is most likely due to a viral infection or other type of illness that is common during this time. Identify the cause and manage it.