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Homemade Teething Oil (That Really Works!)

Affiliate Disclosure | in Natural Remedies | by | with 108 Comments


Do you wake up in the morning . . .

Put both contacts in one eye, find your dustpan in your fridge and your milk on the floor next to the broom?* Have you ever fallen asleep with the car running in the driveway, or pulled into a Starbucks drive-thru and tried to order from the trash can? Well then, you just might have a teething baby on your hands!

Fortunately, there’s an easy, inexpensive and completely natural alternative that really works! Clove oil is a natural analgesic (numbing agent) with a long history of safe use in dentistry. In fact a 2006 study conducted by dentists found it was just as effective as store bought gels. This popular remedy for teething contains clove oil, which is an indication of just how effective many parents have found it to be.*

Because of it’s potency, clove oil must be diluted before application. Below is the recipe I use, which was adapted from a product I recommended in this post on natural remedies for teething.

Homemade Teething Oil

UPDATE: Though there is historical precedent for using clove for teething and there is a company that sells it commercially, newer guidelines provided by Essential Oil Safety do not recommend using clove as an analgesic with babies. Instead I recommend investing in an amber teething necklace. This recipe can be helpful for toothaches, though. 


To Make

Combine ingredients and test a little on yourself to make sure it’s not too strong. Once you’re comfortable with the ratio’s pour your mixture into a clean container. Light oxidizes oil, so a dark amber or cobalt is best if you plan to leave it on the counter. Another option is a clear glass container that is kept in a cool, dark cabinet.

To Use

Shake well, then apply sparingly to gums with your finger tip. Reapply every 1-2 hours as needed. Test the mixture on yourself before applying to make sure it is not too strong. 

Warning: According to aromatherapists, clove oil absolutely must be diluted before application in order to be used safely. As with any remedy, please observe your baby for any potential reactions. There are people in the world that are allergic to water, so just because something is natural does not mean it is beneficial for every individual.

Need More Teething Help?

Click here for the scoop on 5 more things you can do to make teething easier, and here’s one on why Hyland’s teething tablets don’t work for everyone (plus what to use instead).

* This post was inspired by this one on sleep deprivation. Click over if you need a good laugh!


Ancient Roots, Many Branches
Discovery: Alternative Medicine
Aromatics International: Clove Bud Oil
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. See my full disclaimer here.
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108 Responses to Homemade Teething Oil (That Really Works!)

  1. […] Update: You can make your own teething oil at home. It’s cheap and easy! Here’s the recipe. […]

  2. Monica says:

    Great timing! My baby has one tooth up and I’m pretty sure she’s working on two more. No fever but she has had a runny nose.

  3. Neveen says:

    Can it be given to a 5-month-old?

  4. Thanks! I’ll definitely make some of this to have on hand for when/if teething gets bad! Madison is 5 months old now :-)

  5. Jesse May says:

    Thanks for this timely recipe, Heather! I have been absolutely devouring all the information in your posts, and am so thankful I found your website (through Pinterest)! I so appreciate the thorough research you put into each subject. Please keep up the amazing work!

  6. Marianne says:

    Thank you! Ingredients ordered.

  7. Karen says:

    I’ve heard that chamomile essential oil is good as well for teething drops. I did not know that clove essential oil was safe for babies.

  8. Bailey says:

    Just wanted to say that I use this too, and it works great! Yea for getting some sleep! :) From what I understand it is perfectly safe, as long as you choose a high quality, pharma grade oil (preferably organic) and dilute the heck out of it. Chamomile is good too. I have also used yarrow. My twins were pre-term, and then they were early teethers, so I stuck with the super-safe-for-newborns oils for them for a while.

  9. Pru says:

    Hi. I love the sound of this recipe. My son is not teething yet but I want to be ready. I was just wondering if it is clove leaf or clove seed oil? My health food store has both. Thanks

    • Lee says:

      Clove *bud oil

      • sabj718 says:

        Many oils at the grocery are not good for oral consumption. I would recommend you find a Doterra consultant or I believe you can order it on Amazon. Doterra is THE essential oil blend and tells you if you can only apply them topically or orally.

  10. Leah G says:

    Heather do you happen to know if our amber teething necklaces need replacing every six months I feel like I read that somewhere and I’ve noticed my lil one a bit crankier lately.

  11. NicoleW says:

    Can you use all coconut oil? I don’t currently have a high quality olive oil in my house but I do have a teething 7 month old.

  12. Emily says:

    Hi Heather. I have heard that clove oil should not be given to children under age 2. Do you know anymore about this?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Emily! I am not an expert, but all I can say is that it has been used without a problem by many moms including myself. As with everything from bananas to milk, there is always a risk of a negative reaction. I watch my babies carefully after introducing any new substance to make sure there is not a reaction. Hope that helps!

    • Lili says:

      My naturopathic doctor actually recommended clove oil to me, that’s how I found this recipe! She recommended it over echinacea.

  13. What a great idea! We’ve just been dealing with it because I didn’t know of a healthy alternative!

  14. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Do you have a certain brand of clove oil that you like? Amazon had lots of options! :-)

  15. Christi says:

    Just so you know, your link to the study by dentists links to a 2007 paper comparing benzocaine with lidocaine. Perhaps this was the study you meant?
    There is also a 2012 study about clove oil improving pain (and cognition!) in mice.

  16. […] analgesic and so I’ve used very diluted clove oil to help my babies with teething pain.  This is a good recipe for it; just test it on yourself first to be sure it isn’t too […]

  17. […] raise your child.  Posts like how to treat a headache naturally and what to do when your child is teething are loaded with good information and have helped me feel more confident when these issues arise in […]

  18. Julie says:

    Clove oil reminds me of my childhood. My mother used to keep a bottle in the medicine cabinet for teething and toothaches.

  19. Julie H says:

    Clove Oil reminds me of my childhood. My mother always kept a bottle in the medicine cabinet for teething and toothaches.

  20. Dara says:

    I pinned this article as part of your Canon Rebel giveaway. Such a simple recipe, and so helpful! Thank you!

  21. Rebecca says:

    I pinned this article (along with many others) because I love it! And because I want to win a Canon Rebel..haha ;)

  22. Lobe says:

    Do you know if I can make this with the actual cloves rather than the essential oil? I am very cautios when it comes to essential oils as even when I’ve used them diluted they’ve caused me sensitivity to Lavender, Chamomile and Orange (I love these three and now I can’t have anything with these in it, including tea or the fruit itself).

    • Heather says:

      Hi Lobe! Here’s a comment from a site on old natural remedies you may find interesting:

      “My little girl does NOT take kindly to pain killers and orajel doesn’t work for very long. My granny told me to mix cloves (ground works the best and you find it in the spice section of any grocery store) and butter, sweet cream unsalted lasts the longest in the fridge. Mix together and place into the fridge. The more clove you use the longer it will work. Just rub on baby’s gums whenever needed. Works amazingly fast. Good Luck.”

  23. Sarah says:

    Very serendipitous, seeing as how imclaying here nursing a 12 month old back to sleep for the second time…after only having gone to bed three hours ago :/
    I have a super tether on my hands-at 12 months she has four top, four bottom, one molar and is cutting THREE more molars. Needless to say, she’s a little cranky!

  24. Jen says:

    thanks…baby is teething again…anxious to try this out.

  25. Lorna says:

    THanks for this, I’ve used clove oil myself in the past but hadn’t thought to use it on my teething toddler. She’s had a lot of pain with all of her teeth, and we’re at our wits’ end. She’s slept right through the night only four times – and she’s two on Sunday! Two years of no sleep, I can’t wait until all of her teeth are through; only four to go. We sleep in separate beds every night now, one with the baby monitor and one without, because it’s the only way we can get any sleep at all!

  26. Monica says:

    I would love to make this for my son who is having a hard time teething, especially at night. Can you recommend a good brand of essential oils to use please?

  27. Stephanie says:

    I like that you made your own and did not purchase the one with willow bark because Aspirin should be avoided in children due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome. It is used in children in some cases but the risk of Reye’s increases if the patient has recently had chicken pox or flu symptoms and so it is safer to say that it should be avoided altogether in children unless instructed by your doctor.

  28. Bethany says:

    Is clove bud essential oil the same as Clove oil?

  29. Dr G says:

    Ground cloves work great just in olive oil. Combine and let sit. Test on yourself. Apply with your finger. Problem with EOs is risk of child getting a hold of the bottles. Keep them locked up! Another great herb for teething is echinacea root glycerite. Safe, immune support, and nicely numbs the oral mucosa. Love out for sore throats. Spilanthes or water cress has similar properties. Note if your echinacea product doesn’t numb your mouth a bit, its no good. Avoid cheap herbs.

  30. Jackie says:

    Just to warn you, cloves are a potential allergy. I have 7 people in my family who are allergic to it, and three of them just found out they were a few months ago when my cousin’s fiance brought hand made clove-laced food of some sort to Thanksgiving. We had 3 people in an ambulance with tongues so swollen they were foaming at the mouth. So please, put a warning that Cloves are potentially very allergenic.

  31. Jackie says:

    Thanks for this recipe! I’m curious, where do you find small colored jars to put the mixture in?

  32. Becca says:

    How do you know what’s a good O.O. To use? Thanks!

    • Karie says:

      Clove oil or Thieves oil from YoungLiving is pure therapuetic essential oil and is safe for teething babies. diluted, of course.

  33. […] measures for teething may reduce drooling. This homemade teething oil is my personal fave, but here are some other things I’ve found helpful. Also, if you’re […]

  34. Jaci says:

    Do you think this would be safe for my 2.5 month old? We think he is starting to teeth already, it hasn’t been bad yet, just want to be prepared… And the pulsatilla? Thanks so much for all the info!!

  35. Aisha says:

    Not up to the teethibg stage yet, but hive it a few more months…
    What is the active ingredient in teething gels and stuff? Why is it potentially fatal? And what reaction will it create in a baby?

  36. […] seem to be bothered by teething too much, but I do have Hyland’s teething tablets and some clove oil on hand for when her gums seem to be bothering […]

  37. […] basically a mixture of clove oil, coconut oil and olive oil – check the actual recipe out here. as with the homeopathic gel mentioned above, it may or may not really give my beeb much relief. […]

  38. Megan says:

    I just made some! I tried it on myself and my baby this morning. As a first time paranoid mother I did read about the “possible” side effect so I made my first batch pretty mild and used a bit more oil. Anyway I was wondering about the amount that should be used in 24 hours? I was thinking to be on the safe side I wouldn’t apply it more than twice a day but wanted to know if anyone has researched this? As with any homeopathic remedy it can have great benefits but also needs to be used properly. All of his top teeth decided to have a party together and have been coming down at once. They have broken through the skin now but he still has days where they bother him more than others. On those bad days I just want to know how often I should apply it. I also found it hard to find the right oil that didn’t say for external use only. I ended up buying BodyChoice organic oil from Amazon (, because the description specially talked about it’s use for oral pain. I hope I got the right stuff!

  39. […] Homemade Teething Gel Oil by Mommypotamus […]

  40. J.M says:

    I LOVE coconut oil and use it daily for personal care, baking, for my son.

  41. Kayla Herman via FB says:

    You could also just steep the cloves in the oil or make a tincture with the cloves as well.

  42. Molly Cosens via FB says:

    Mommypotamus, have you used this??

  43. Michelle Canuso via FB says:

    Cheri Ruiz Casarez maybe worth trying!

  44. Melissa Hamil via FB says:

    Natasha Cantrell

  45. Erica Miriam Buchman via FB says:

    Sara Itskovich

  46. Amy Jeanne Hardesty via FB says:

    I use this all the time, except mine has a couple drops of sweet orange oil, too. I’ve even used it on myself. It does work :)

  47. Michelle Primm Blackburn via FB says:

    Lana Harvard VanderMerwe

  48. Wish I had known about you when my son was teething. Poor guy was miserable getting 4 molars at once.

  49. Something to tell your patients! Mary Linda DeHainaut

  50. Yes it does work! I mix mine with filtered water and coconut oil.

  51. Rachel Naro Wiernusz via FB says:

    I like the sweet oil addition! I mix mine with coconut oil and rub on the base of the binkie…the delivery is much easier that way!

  52. Melanie Walker Mathews via FB says:

    Riley Clinkenbeard

  53. Krystine Marie via FB says:

    Lisa T Zar

  54. Heather Hill-Cantrall via FB says:

    Rebecca Chase

  55. Danielle Mein via FB says:

    Neelka Smith

  56. Elizabeth Alley Longtin via FB says:

    funny to see this now. i went to my local grocer & asked about using clove oil exactly this way. i was told by 2 pple that they had never heard of using it internally & advised against it. my lo has his front (top&bottom) 8 teeth, but he still has many teething symptoms. i wld say its his biggest complaint by far. anywho, i left the store discouraged & didnt buy any. i guess ill go back!

  57. Amanda Wayne via FB says:

    I make something like this with clove and Chamomile. Normally my little man loves it. He got into my clove EO tonight though and started dancing through the house sprinkling it everywhere. I got my revenge though when he put his hands in his mouth and realized it wasn’t so much fun after all!

  58. Michelle May via FB says:

    The only thing we have found that works well! My 16 month old is cutting his molars we dab a little on a qtip and apply to gums. (Not a fan of putting my fingers in his mouth anymore with all his teeth.) It works well for canker sores too.

  59. Ashley Thompson via FB says:

    Anna Reuter

  60. I actually put about 20 drops IN my tube of toothpaste

  61. Sara Fry via FB says:

    Susan MacDonald

  62. Karen Brett via FB says:

    Candace N’Sean Sonderleiter

  63. Melissa Gustafson via FB says:

    I have organic clove bud e.o. and it says “caution – not for internal use”. Are there different kinds?

  64. Ariane Liberty via FB says:

    They advised me not to use this, not even 2 drops for my baby. There are already natural and organic teething aids that are made safely for babies. I used Camilia.

  65. Gabby Bjorgo via FB says:

    Taylor Cosper keep this in your safari favorites or bookmarks or whatever works pwease?(:

  66. Yolanda Marshall via FB says:

    I wouldn’t use this on a baby for a number of reasons – I think homeopathic teething powders work fine. I used clove oil on my teeth for years as a teenager when my teeth were sore from having chipped a tooth. But too much clove oil can give you head aches which is counterproductive.

  67. Angela Moisant via FB says:

    Thank you!! My 16 mo old is cutting some molars and needs a little more than just his amber necklace that got him through his first 8 teeth without us even knowing he was teething (all came in at once). Will wearing 2 necklaces increase the effects of the Baltic amber?

  68. Tara Pope via FB says:

    is there a link to the 2006 study?

  69. Tara Pope – I linked to it in the post.

  70. Angela Moisant – Yes, two necklaces would release more succinic acid than one

  71. You have to really be careful what essential oils you ingest. They are so powerful. I’m not sure I would ever give a baby EO internally. I will put certain ones on the bottoms of their feet or chest.

  72. Jennifer Shipway via FB says:

    I have made this but tried it on myself first and couldn’t feel any numbing effects. Is there any difference between infants and adults??

  73. Lilelfen1 says:

    Ready for insanity? My 1 month old is teething! In fact, he has been teething since birth. I know….
    O_o this oil is the only thing other than chewing on my finger that has helped even a smidge. Thank you, Mommypotomus. :-D

  74. […] seem to be bothered by teething too much, but I do have Hyland’s teething tablets and some clove oil on hand for when her gums seem to be bothering […]

  75. Shiony says:

    Can adult use this too?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Shiony, there are studies which say it is more effective than other analgesics for adult use. I cannot advise anyone regarding what they should do in their specific situation because I am not a doctor. This site shares folk remedies and research that may support their use, but the information is purely educational and cannot diagnose, treat or cure any disease. On a personal note, I would feel comfortable using this – and possibly a less diluted version- on myself.

  76. This is the reason why FDA want to control all the supplements and essential oils. You can’t use clove for babies! Especially in them mouth!
    For kids under 2 years old clove essential oil is poisoning. You will kill your baby liver with this teething oil. Use breast milk as teething liquid -safe and natural.
    Ask any dentist they don’t use clove essential oil they use clove extract- it’s not the same. Clove EO is up to 88% evgenol- extract only 1-5%.
    Dear Heather I hope you realise that one of your followers will use it on couple months old baby to often. Yes it will work, yes it’s natural -so she will think it safe. It can’t be “not safe”- Heather share it in her blog. And later it will harm or even kill her baby. How do you feel about it? Do you really want to put some one baby in jeopardy for your blog popularity? Shame.

    • Mary says:

      Shame on you -for being so rude.
      Anyone (including sleep deprived mommies) that put anything into their babies mouths without thoroughly investigating or researching, would the ones who the blame or shame fell on.
      People should understand by now that even though the internet has many helpful suggestions -it also has misinformation, lies….
      Simply put, you really could have delivered your info with a bit more finesse!

      • Heather says:

        Thanks for your comment, Mary. I did not see the initial one you were responding to until just now. As a point of clarification, I recently decided to pursue my aromatherapy certification because it is always my desire to provide the best information available. In the past few years there has been an increase in information available regarding essential oils, which is why I posted this disclaimer above the recipe in this post.

        “UPDATE: Though there is historical precedent for using clove for teething and there is a company that sells it commercially, newer guidelines provided by Essential Oil Safety do not recommend using clove as an analgesic with babies. Instead I recommend investing in an amber teething necklace. This recipe can be helpful for toothaches, though.”

  77. […] Now, with my eight week old quickly approaching the teething stage (and my nearly-two year old working on her molars), I’m excited to try a new method of teething relief. Well, new for me, anyway. It’s a natural remedy that anyone can make at home.  You can find it here. […]

  78. […] Homemade Teething Oil (That Really Works!) […]

  79. […] Oil – Here is an easy recipe for Homemade Teething Oil using this from […]

  80. […] I had never heard of the clove oil + olive oil remedy for teething, but based on the responses below, it works wonders. Never heard of it either? You can find out more, including how to make and apply it, RIGHT HERE. […]

  81. Rachael says:

    I have been using Punkin Butt Teething Oil that contains clove and peppermint, two oils not recommended for babies. The makers stand by their product claiming it’s safe. What is your take? What is it that makes clove unsafe? What reactions are known? If clove has been used for so long, why is it suddenly dangerous? Just curious and now worried…

    • Heather says:

      My opinion is that although many children won’t have reactions, some will either have a reaction or become sensitized to the oil. Since we don’t know beforehand how a child’s body will respond, it’s best to exercise caution :)

  82. You can also apply other alternative procedures to ease the pain like rubbing your baby’s gums, buy a teething ring that made from firm rubber and always keep it cool — this can give your baby a soothing feeling, offer something edible for gnawing — such as a peeled and chilled cucumber or carrot, and always keep a clean cloth handy to dry your baby’s chin to prevent skin irritation. I hope that helps.

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