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Teething is a normal part of childhood and should not be treated with homeopathic remedies, like teething tablets, or prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications that are rubbed on the gums.
Benzocaineâa local anestheticâis the active ingredient in several OTC oral health care products such as Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel, & Topex. These products are not useful for treating sore gums due to teething because they wash out of a babyâs mouth within minutes. Whatâs more, they can be dangerous.
The use of benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions, and lozenges for mouth and gum pain can lead to a seriousâand sometimes fatalâcondition called methemoglobinemia, in which the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells is greatly reduced.Â
Thatâs why the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents & caregivers that benzocaine products should not be used to treat teething pain in infants or children.
What You Can Do for Teething Children
On average, children begin teething around 4 to 7 months, & have a total of 20 âbaby teethâ by age 3.Â
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), occasional symptoms of teething include mild irritability, a low-level fever, drooling, & an urge to chew on something hard.
Because teething happens during a time of much change in a babyâs life, it is often wrongly blamed for congestion, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, & sleep disturbances.
If your childâs gums are swollen & tender:
gently rub or massage the gums with your finger
give your child a teething ringÂ made of firm rubber…