Don’t use Orajel for your teething baby

If your baby is around 6 months of age and is keeping you up at night, they are probably experiencing teething pain.  Classic signs of the impending arrival of new teeth include sore or tender gums, drooling, chewing on hard objects and irritability.

As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to help relieve the pain and soothe your baby.  After all, a sleepless, cranky baby affects the whole family.  Here are some tips to soothe sore gums:

  • Gently rub or massage the baby’s gums with your finger
  • Give the child a firm rubber teething ring chilled in the refrigerator
  • Offer a cold washcloth
  • If your baby eats solid food, try hard foods that your baby can gnaw on such as carrots or cucumber but beware of pieces that might break off and act as a choking hazard
  • Over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Motrin can be used

Do not give your child any medication that contains the pain reliever benzocaine.  Benzocaine is a local anesthetic and can be found in such over-the-counter products as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase.  The use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious—and sometimes fatal—condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced.

Click here to read the full consumer update from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


About the Author:

Since 1972, Salem Pediatric Dental & Orthodontic Associates has provided comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence including those with special health care needs. We proudly serve the communities of Salem, Lynn, Peabody, Danvers, Marblehead, Swampscott, Beverly, and many more.
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