Is benzocaine safe for infants? What about Belladonna? We get asked this on a daily basis now. Teething gels vs teething tablets? That one too...
For years, teething tablets by popular manufacturers were touted as the best option to soothe baby's tender gums. They were convenient and were the safe option for parents looking for some relief. However, recent studies and data now suggest that teething tablets, specifically those with an ingredient called Belladonna are not only not recommended but can also be unsafe for infants. Usually these products carry with them a "Homeopathic" title which allows them to make strong, drug-like claims without any real substantiation behind them. So for parents looking for a teething product, avoid belladonna.
What about Benzocaine?
Benzocaine is the main ingredient in many teething products and is known to cause numbing, choking and gagging in infants. But that isn't the only reason the FDA has recalled it. Methemoglobinemia, is a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced. This can cause death in infants. So, it isn't recommended for children under 2 years of age. Always consult your doctor before you use any product.
What can be used then?
Wink Naturals recommends the following:
-Teething chew toys: These are great because they entertain, distract and help with dexterity. Put them in the freezer to get that cooling effect.
-Gum Massage: This alleviates some of the pain with teething. You will notice your little one drooling and slobbering. This is normal. Gently rub and massage the gums.
-Cool Gums Teething Gel: Wink Naturals recently launched a natural, drug-free gel that does not contain belladonna or benzocaine. It is gentle and cools the gums instead of numbing. You can check it out here.
It is always a safe bet to consult your doctor about your child's health.