Teething Gel: To Gel or Not To Gel? And Alternatives That Work
This is a biggie to address: teething gel! When your little babe or toddler is screaming with what appears to be teething pain, and your dad suggests rubbing a little whiskey on it, you respond: “They have oral gel for this nowadays, Dad!” But is that gel safe? Last year a number of warnings came out about benzocaine, the primary agent in oral baby teething gels, and the prognosis was not so great.
1) FDA & AAP warnings.
“The FDA has learned that benzocaine products can cause a serious life-threatening condition known as methemoglobinemia. Methemoglobinemia (MET-hemoglobin) is a condition where there is a build-up of methemoglobin in the blood, which reduces the ability of the blood to transport oxygen throughout the body. ” Baby411.
“The FDA says benzocaine products should not be given to children younger than age 2 unless under the supervision of a health care professional. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving children with teething problems a teething ring that has been chilled in a refrigerator, or gently rubbing the child’s gums with a finger.” Read more specifics of the FDA warning here.
a) a great teething biscuit recipe here from Weelicious!;
b) frozen breastmilk in cubes in a mesh feeder;
c) warm washcloth;
d) cold washcloth;
e) teething rings in freezer/ pacifier in fridge or freezer;
f) toys like Sophie the French giraffe that are totally safe plastic;
g) homeopathy! hyland’s teething gel is safe and effective sometimes, like all homeopathy; and
h) amber teething necklace (which has worked for us well, but again, is not guaranteed to work for everyone).