ds started with incredible teething pain at 5 months. (had mild pain at 3-4 mos, finally cut the 2 bottom teeth at 5.5 mos, then had relief until the tops started coming down, too!)
all of these have worked to some degree:
-hyland's teething tabs (worked for mild pain)
-hyland's teething gel (mild-moderate pain)
-single homeopathic remedy, chamomilla (mil-mod, and works great when ds cannot sleep from the pain)
-single homeo. rem., belladonna (mod-severe)
-cold wascloth/cloth diaper edge (mild-mod pain)
-washcloth wrapped around ice chip to bite ice (mild-severe pain)
-clove oil (mild-mod pain)
-a thick walled glass filled with ice water - ds actually was always reaching for glasses of h2o, finally I set him on my lap and put the glass near his face, he grabbed it and bit down hard on the glass edge and tilted it with his hands. the icy water contacted his gums and gave relief! This works even when he is in a lot of pain!
-chewing on the end of a short wooden spoon - the handle is thick and flat, hard to describe, but it is safe, not pointy - it is a bamboo rice spoon.
-and lastly - the vibrating teether
!!! this thing is great - ds has learned to bite down on it to activate the vibrate and it makes him smile/brings relief. Not keen on him chewing plastic, but he is binky and bottle free, so I figure his exposure is minimal. Look for one labelled PVC-free.
And I will add: I do give him ibuprofen from time to time. a 1/2 dose, cause sometimes nothing will do and I don't think there is anything natural about watching a little one suffer (but he does have much more severe teething pain, actually the worst I have ever seen). ps-tylenol doesn't work for him.