A teething baby can be an unhappy baby, and it’s not uncommon for parents and caregivers to try and soothe their little one with over-the-counter oral/”gum numbing” medications. U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) officials now warn that teething babies don’t need medicine on their gums and in fact, these popular remedies can cause serious injury and even lead to death.
In a June 25 article released on the FDA’s Consumer Updates page, the agency states that local anesthetics known as viscous lidocaine, or benzocaine-containing teething products, should never be used for teething children, unless under the direction and supervision of a doctor.
Viscous lidocaine is a gel-like syrup that’s used as a local anesthetic, typically to treat mouth ulcers in chemotherapy patients. It requires a prescription.
Benzocaine can be found in many popular over-the-counter products like Baby Orajel, Anbesol, Hurricaine and Orabase.