Everything you need to know to help you and your teething baby all in one place written by expert dentists.
1. TEETHING BABY REMEDIES THAT KILL: Benzocaine and Teething Necklaces
BENZOCAINE CONTAINING PRODUCTS CAN KILL YOUR BABY!
BY FAR THE #1 MISTAKE a parent can do in trying to help their teething baby deal with teething pain is to use benzocaine containing products. Benzocaine can cause methemoglobinemia, which can be life threatening.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on May 23, 2018: [Risk of serious and potentially fatal blood disorder prompts FDA action on oral over-the-counter benzocaine products used for teething and mouth pain and prescription local anesthetics.]
However, many people, including people who work in dental and medical fields, do not know of this HUGE danger. PLEASE SPREAD THE NEWS!
These potentially life threatening gels, ointments, sprays, solutions and lozenges that contain benzocaine are readily available over-the-counter, on the internet and in health stores under the brand names:
- Baby Orajel,
- store brand names
- and generics
Most of these products do not contain warning labels of this potential threat.
[FDA takes action against the use of OTC benzocaine teething products due to serious safety risk, lack of benefit.] The FDA now advises:
- Benzocaine oral drug products provide little to no benefits for treating oral pain, including sore gums in infants due to teething
- OTC oral benzocaine-containing products should not be used to treat infants and children younger than 2 years old
- The FDA has asked the manufacturers of these products to STOP marketing and selling these products for teething babies; if the companies do not comply, the FDA will initiate regulatory action to remove these products from the market!
2. A TEETHING NECKLACE CAN KILL YOUR BABY!
The most common teething remedy searched for on the internet is "teething necklace." Well meaning parents purchase this "natural" remedy without knowing the dangers:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on December 20, 2018: [ FDA Warns Against Use of Teething Necklaces, Bracelets, and Other Jewelry Marketed for Relieving Teething Pain... ]
- "The FDA has received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children, including strangulation and choking, caused by necklaces and bracelets often marketed for relieving teething pain."
- "Do not use necklaces, bracelets, or any other jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain."
We figured we start with the most CRITICAL information on the topic of teething baby, just incase you don’t read all the way to the bottom. Here’s what else you should MUST know about teething in babies:
3. TEETHING CHARTS and BABY TEETHING AGE
As a parent, especially a first time parent, you worry about your baby’s developmental milestones. Let us ease your worries about teething charts and baby teething age:
When does the baby’s first tooth come in?
Most babies get their first tooth between 6 -12 months of age. However, this varies greatly: some babies are born with teeth, other babies might not get their first tooth until the age of 2!
IGNORE all the teething charts and baby teething age information on the internet it will just stress you out. If your baby’s teeth seem delayed, but otherwise your baby is developing well there is nothing to worry about. The baby teeth will come in, when they come in.
It is EXTREMELY rare that a medical or dental intervention is indicated to influence the teething of the baby teeth. In contrast, when permanent teeth are delayed in eruption, treatment may be indicated.
How long does teething last?
It takes 18-24 months from the first baby tooth coming in to the time the last baby tooth comes in.
TEETHING SYMPTOMS (what the baby is experiencing):
- swollen and tender gums in the area where the tooth will be erupting
- the amount of pain varies greatly from baby to baby: some may have no pain others severe pain
- excessive drooling; this may lead to a mild teething rash around the mouth as the skin gets irritated from the excessive saliva
- increased desire to chew on their fingers or toys
TEETHING SIGNS (what you are observing in your teething baby):
- irritability and crankiness (in baby and probably yourself as well!- Hang in there!)
- decreased appetite
- pulling and rubbing of ears, chin and cheek; pain can radiate from the gums to these areas and the teething baby rubs those areas thinking that is the origin of the pain
- sleeplessness/ restless sleep
- elevated temperature (less than 38 degrees Celsius), but not fever (more than 38 degrees Celsius); There is no such thing as “teething fever”, if your baby has a fever it is not because of teething
RECOMMENDED TEETHING BABY REMEDIES:
- Tender Loving Care (TLC),
- and maybe Tylenol/ Advil
- but NOTHING ELSE!
There is so much misinformation on the internet. Unless you are an expert in a field you will NOT know the difference between USEFUL vs. USELESS vs. HARMFUL:
USEFUL TEETHING BABY REMEDIES:
If you are sure you have a teething baby that is suffering and needs help, keep it simple:
Pressure and cold applied to the origin of pain eases pain. Your teething baby knows better than you where it hurts. In fact that is the reason why your teething baby is chewing on stuff. So forget about rubbing your baby’s gums like suggested on the internet. Instead support your teething baby’s self soothing:
Chewing on cold things such as a frozen washcloth or hard things such as a natural solid wooden spoon or a toy is helpful, but for best results combine COLD and HARD.
Allow your teething baby to chew on cool and hard objects and foods such as:
- chilled firm silicone teething ring
- chilled and peeled cucumber, carrot or celery; be careful that your teething baby does not break off a piece and choke
- cold spoon
- mini frozen fruit popsicles
If pressure and cold is not enough to ease the teething baby ordeal, you may try over the counter baby pain relievers such as baby acetaminophen (eg. Tylenol) and baby ibuprofen (eg. Advil).
USELESS TEETHING BABY REMEDIES:
“Dr. Google” drives doctors CRAZY because there is no way for you to know what is helpful and truthful. Google just gives you the information that is popular. Here are some of the useless teething baby remedies information that Google serves as the top choices:
- balance blood sugar?????
- vitamin D??????
- amber teething necklaces????? (Warning: Choking Hazard!)
- teething drops, gels, tablets, oils??????
Besides getting a placebo effect, YOU ARE wasting your time and money with the above “teething remedies”!
HARMFUL TEETHING BABY REMEDIES:
- medications that you rub on the gums, wash out of the teething baby’s mouth within minutes and therefore are ineffective
- medications that contain benzocaine can be deadly if the teething baby swallows excessive amounts
- homeopathic teething tablets that contain the plant poison belladonna
- teething necklaces and bracelets are a choking hazard and should not be used
Benzocaine and Belladonna are marketed to help with teething symptoms, however the FDA has issued recommendations not to use either one.
How do I care for the new teeth?
It can be a challenging time for parents when a baby is teething, however, keeping the teeth clean from the first time that they come in is important in preventing tooth decay. Use a washcloth with water to wipe the teeth twice daily; it is critical for one of those times to be before bed at night. With your index finger direct the washcloth at the spot where the tooth meets the gum and wipe in the direction away from the gums.
Switch to a soft baby brush when the worst of the teething has passed. Brush twice a day morning and night: start at the gum, brush in the direction away from the gum.
In the best interest of your health and well-being,
Dr. Joanne Baldos and Dr. Adam Szymczak