Infant Teething Pain Relief Recommendations
One of the most frustrating events for parents is dealing with a teething infant. Babies typically get their first tooth by six months of age, and some infants cope with the discomfort better than others.
Signs Your Child is Teething
A question I received often was “How do you know when their teeth will be coming in?” The most obvious evidence of teething is:
- Excessive drooling
- Chewing on any and everything
- Swollen and irritated gums
*Research is still being conducted to verify that fever and teething are correlated. Some argue the child becomes ill due to transmission of a virus or bacteria from objects the baby is putting in their mouth, and not from the actual teething episode.
The Do’s and Dont’s
DO use oral pain relievers, chilled rings, frozen wash clothes, teething beads, teething toys, and gum massaging – being careful not to get bitten!
DON’T use topical oral anesthetics such as Orajel. Should you decide to use teething gel, immediately seek medical help if you notice child having seizures, shortness of breath, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or lethargy (fatigue). These symptoms are a result of a benzocaine toxicity and are life threatening.
I did occasionally have parents who swore by the amber teething necklaces, but I am unable to make a professional recommendation without scientific evidence. I will comment that the safety efficacy is questionable with choking and suffocation hazards.
I also saw parents using the homeopathic teething tablets. In September of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration released an article recommending immediate discontinuance of teething tablets. They went as far as to advise discarding the tablets into the trash. The FDA’s concern is the potential benzocaine toxicity as seen with the topical analgesics.
Again, my intention is to provide evidence-based recommendations that are supported by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. It is impractical to address all products available.
Please leave any comments or questions below. I look forward to your responses.