Teething Pain – Do Teething Necklaces, Teething Tablets and Teething Pain Medication Work?

Dental Health

Teething Pain

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, last month put out a warning against the use of viscous lidocaine as a numbing agent for teething pain. Leading American dental authorities and their Canadian counterparts echoed these sentiments and have put forward their own guidelines on dealing with infant teething issues.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry notes that “when too much viscous lidocaine is given to infants… or they accidentally swallow too much, it can result in seizures, severe brain injury, and problems with the heart.

Viscous lidocaine is prescription grade mouth rinse, based on the drug found in the common form of dental injection freezing, that causes temporary numbing of the mouth and oral tissues. It is used to treat the pain of a sore or irritated mouth and throat often associated with chemotherapy and certain medical procedures, but in no way should be used for teething.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry notes that “when too much viscous lidocaine is given to infants… or they accidentally swallow too much, it can result in seizures, severe brain injury, and problems with the heart. Cases of overdose due to wrong dosing or accidental ingestion have resulted in infants and children being hospitalized or dying.”

Many “natural” or homeopathic remedies such as teething tablets can be found on the internet such as Amber teething necklaces and like many things on the internet should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism and used at your own risk. 

Use of topical anesthetics, such as over-the-counter teething gels are discouraged due to potential toxicity in infants of the active ingredient, benzocaine. Many “natural” or homeopathic remedies such as teething tablets can be found on the internet such as Amber teething necklaces and like many things on the internet should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism and used at your own risk. While they are unlikely to cause any harm, there is little to no scientific evidence to support their usefulness.

Teething rings, chilled in the fridge, but not frozen in the freezer, can be very effective distracters to the uncomfortable baby. 

So what should the concerned parent do for their baby experiencing teething pain? Teething rings, chilled in the fridge, but not frozen in the freezer, can be very effective distracters to the uncomfortable baby. The cool temperature offers some relief and numbing while the pressure on the gums from chewing on the ring works much the same way squeezing you toe does when you stub it. It overrides the brain’s pain sensation with the pressure sensation effectively relieving the pain temporarily.  For teething pain medicines, both acetaminophen and ibuprofen given in the correct dosages and frequency are very effective pain killers.

DO NOT USE ASA  (Aspirin) topically or orally in children.

Check out our QUICK GUIDE to TEETHING

Check out these Seven Healthy Snacks For Your Teeth by Dr Lisa Fruitman.

Read about the AAPD’s recommendations and other infant oral health topics here.

The general information provided on the Website is for informational purposes and is not medical advice.

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If you have a medical emergency, call a physician or qualified healthcare provider, or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on this Website. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed and qualified health provider in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

Evan Zaretsky

About Evan Zaretsky

Evan is a pediatric dentist and owner of Durham Kids Dentistry in Whitby, the only pediatric dental office in the Whitby Oshawa Bowmanville area.

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