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Are Teething Gels Harming Your Baby?

Teething is a sad and exhausting time, both for you and your baby. It’s every parent’s instinct to want to soothe their child’s pain, but you may want to rethink the teething gels often recommended to you.

The FDA has recently discovered that these numbing teething gels could be harming your child. There are a number of concerns, including:

  • Gels containing benzocaine (Baby Orajel & Anbesol to name a couple) have been shown to cause methemglobinemia. This is a disorder that can reduce the oxygen in your baby’s bloodstream, causing seizures, coma, and even death.
  • Accidental overdose is a large concern. Babies swallow this gel on their gums, and if parents apply too much, it may result in an overdose. Some parents have even admitted to coating their child’s pacifier in the gel before giving it to their baby. To avoid an overdose, it’s very important to adhere to the instructions on the tube.
  • Lidocaine, the numbing agent contained in teething gels, can cause many problems if your child gets too much. These problems can include brain injuries, heart problems and vision problems.

If you still choose to use teething gels for your baby, we urge you to follow the instructions on the boxes and tubes. Use only a pea-sized amount for your baby. We have also put together a list of other ways to ease your child’s teething pain:

  • Coldness with help soothe the symptoms. You can place your child’s teething ring or pacifier in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before giving them to your baby.
  • Clean, damp cloths are great for teething. The cool water will help the swelling go down and the texture of the rag with help the tooth erupt.
  • Apply counter-pressure to the gums where the teeth are erupting. This can be done with a clean finger or a cloth.

It’s been recommended that your child visit the dentist when their first tooth erupts. To schedule an appointment for your baby, please contact Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today! Our office is located in Firestone, Colorado!

Posted on May 25, 2016
Image Credit: © Dreamstime.com

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