Teething products and remedies

Teething gels numb the gums around where a tooth is erupting. Some health professionals agree that teething gels may be used in moderation. But talk to your doctor first. These products usually contain benzocaine, or sometimes lidocaine, which can be harmful if used improperly. If these products are swallowed frequently, a baby's throat could become numb. This may cause difficulty swallowing. Also, benzocaine or lidocaine can be toxic if large concentrations build up in a baby's body. Some babies can get a rash from these products. And some have other types of reactions.

Do not use teething powder or aspirin on your baby's gums. Inhaling small particles of teething powder or aspirin can cause lung problems. Also, aspirin should not be given to anyone younger than 20, because it has been associated with Reye syndrome.

Do not give your baby any alcohol. Check medicine labels carefully. Avoid buying those that list alcohol as one of the first few ingredients. Alcoholic beverages, including fruit-flavored brandy or wine, can be harmful to your baby in any amount.

Last Updated: July 13, 2009

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