Teething Guide


The Complete Teething Guide
from Birth to Adolescence

By Kathy Arnos
available from
Spirit Dance Publishing

Reviewed by Jann Garitty, FES Staff

The Complete Teething Guide is an eye-opener in understanding possible causes of some childhood maladies—physical, emotional and behavioral—and contains empowering information regarding natural and alternative care methods. Featured prominently is information regarding nutrition, homeopathy, and also the use of flower essences for many of the uncomfortable conditions and behaviors commonly exhibited by children who are in a teething phase. Additionally, it is one of the few sources of information for alternative methods for family dental care.

Arnos states in her introduction, “Many people are unaware that our children’s emotional and physical problems are often related to the teething process. Most equate ‘teething’ with infancy, when it actually lasts through young adulthood [through the eruption of the wisdom teeth].” In the weeks, and sometimes months, before the eruption of a tooth, many infants and children experience a weakening of the immune system, and research has established the connection between teething, emotional behavior and physical symptoms. Arnos says her main objective in writing the book was to help parents, doctors, and school administrators have a better understanding of why children might be having trouble learning or concentrating, are continuously sick, experience bouts of anxiety and depression, or are acting irrational and out of control.


The use of flower essences is cited extensively throughout the book for various symptoms and conditions that are brought about due to the effects of teething. Arnos writes clearly about the relationship between these effects and children’s emotional states and behaviors. Because flower essences are “harmless and non-addictive; they have no side effects and will not interfere with other forms of alternative and traditional medicine,” they are perfect remedies for use throughout the phases of childhood development and the cycles of teething.


There are numerous situations cited in the book in which flower essences can be utilized. One common effect of teething on children is sleeplessness, and there are several good choices of essences that can be used depending on the exact nature of a child’s disposition. Among others, Arnos suggests the use of Chamomile, for children who are having difficulty relaxing; Rock Rose, for heightened states of anxiety causing nightmares; and Lavender, for a child with overwrought nerves.

Rock Rose

Flower essences are also highly beneficial for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders caused by the effects of teething and its disruptive effect on children’s digestive processes. These digestive disturbances “…can trigger food allergies (when the immune system attacks the undigested flood particles), environmental allergies and malabsorption of important nutrients, all of which have an influence on behavior and result from (and contribute to) a weakened immune system.” From the many examples of helpful remedies in these situations are Indian Pink, for children easily influenced by other activities around them; Cosmos, for those overwhelmed by too much information at one time; and Vervain, for children with too much physical or mental energy to sit still.

Indian Pink

The guide features chapters on—

  • nutrition during pregnancy and its impact on tooth development, and childhood nutrition
  • the developmental sequence in the formation of teeth from birth to the eruption of wisdom teeth and how that sequence corresponds to physiological and psychological maturation, with a range of intensity of teething and physical symptoms
  • how breastfeeding and bottle-feeding affect tooth and jaw development
  • natural remedies for teething-related symptoms, including physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms
  • cavities and tooth decay
  • fluoride
  • hazards, cautions and emergency situations
  • oral hygiene
  • correcting crooked teeth

The Complete Teething Guide is a well-documented book with many personal stories, case studies and has an excellent resource guide and recommended reading list.

Kathy Arnos has had much experience in the study and use of flower essences with children. In 1992, she published Bach Flowers for Children Raising Emotionally Healthy Children Without Drugs. “The purpose of [the] book is to give parents a practical guide in working with Bach flowers to help their children cope with everyday emotional stress.”

The book provides an overview and guides for using the English remedies. It examines the relationships between body and emotions, lists Bach’s seven emotional categories to aid in prescribing and gives profiles of the essences in the form of descriptions of each type of child associated with the remedy. Oftentimes the notes for the essences include information specifically for infants, toddlers, school age children, teens, or parents. Lastly, the book contains a brief repertory of the Bach essences and common conditions associated with each of them.

Arnos is an internationally recognized author, teacher and healing consultant specializing in children's issues. She has been lecturing and writing about health and environmental issues for more than 16 years.


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