A recent article warned that benzocaine teething products aren’t safe for children. According to Dr. Harold Katz, the FDA was wise in issuing their warning. However, the FDA advised manufacturers about this potential problem many years ago. It finally took a strong threat from the FDA for manufacturers to take benzocaine containing “baby” oral care products off the market. Benzocaine is a drug and does not belong in oral products used by babies.
Pediatricians as well as experienced moms have urged the use of the following more natural and safer methods:
- Pressure: simply massaging the gum area of erupting teeth can minimize discomfort and massaging gently is a great bonding method. There currently exists soft rubber teething toys which pediatricians recommend
- Chamomile: Chamomile has natural soothing qualities: make a concentrated tea solution with chamomile tea bags and then soak a clean cotton cloth into the mixture. Then gently rub the chamomile soaked cloth on the erupting gum area.
- Clove oil: dilute natural clove oil with warm water and after dipping a clean cotton cloth into the solution, gently massage the affected area.
In addition, a natural soothing solution already exists. Therabreath soothing oral rinse already combines chamomile, aloe Vera, oatmeal extract, and xylitol. Dip a clean cotton cloth into this solution and apply pressure to your baby’s affected gum area. Therabreath Soothing Oral Rinse is available amazon.com.
One important note: Many websites tout the use of ice or very cold on the affected area. This is not very wise, since extreme cold (as in ice cubes) can damage oral tissue permanently.
About Dr. Harold Katz
Dr. Harold Katz is widely recognized in the media as the “final authority” on breath. He’s been featured on Fox and Friends, FOX Network’s Mike & Juliet Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, and The View with Barbara Walters and countless other radio and TV interviews. Dr. Katz is a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry and holds a separate degree in Bacteriology, also from UCLA. He is the founder of The California Breath Clinics, is the author of “The Bad Breath Bible,” and bearer of the now famous Halimeter which tests the sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.