Do Topical Oral Pain Relievers Really Work?

Doing What’s Best for Baby

Our last article discussed the stages of our emerging teeth. For parents, you may remember that the appearance of your baby’s teeth started a period of extra fussiness and so much drooling that it seemed like your youngster had sprung a leak! But the drool is just one part of the story, as teething pain tends to dominate the conversation. Thus, we address the question: do topical oral pain relievers really work?

Will Pain Relievers Help My Baby?

During teething, usually beginning at about six months, topical pain relievers often become a staple item in the diaper bag. But the reality is that these gels are not very effective. Why? The baby’s drooling quickly rinses away the gel that the parent just rubbed on their child’s gums.

What’s more, the FDA has warned that using either lidocaine or benzocaine on small children can lead to “serious harm, including death.” Ingesting too much lidocaine can lead to seizures, brain injury and heart problems. Benzocaine may reduce the oxygen carried in the bloodstream, also leading to infant death. The FDA recommends natural remedies practiced for centuries as the best choice for helping a baby work through the teething period.

Natural Methods of Relieving Teething Pain

  • Let them chew! Babies will try to put anything and everything in their mouth. Provide them with clean teething rings or safe toys to chew on. Some teething rings can even be frozen for extra relief.
  • Frozen fruit chunks (small enough to avoid getting stuck in the throat) or bagels are great sugar free options for teething pain relief.
  • Sometimes a parent’s touch is best. Applying gentle pressure, rub the baby’s gums to relieve teething pain. Using a cold, wet washcloth may also help.

To keep your baby’s mouth healthy, never use sugar or extra sweeteners in food, on teething devices, or in baby bottles. As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, it’s time to visit our local Placerville dental clinic to meet our friendly and professional dentists to provide more teething tips. Your baby’s teeth deserve the best care, so start them off right with a visit to the Placerville Dentistry Group!


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