Parents, especially the new parents find it very difficult to console a teething baby. They find it difficult to see their baby in distressed condition. Parents do all the possible tricks and techniques to reduce pain and irritability. Apart from physical methods, they also go for over the counter medications to ease baby pain. NSAIDs are a safe option to reduce pain. But apart from pain killers, a number of anesthetic agents are also available in the market. Anesthetics are not a good option for baby, United States Food and Drug Administration has given warning against use of benzocaine products for children under the ageof 2 years.
Natural teething remedies:
Herbal formulations are always a good option when compared to medications; here are the commonly used herbal remedies
Rosehip: This plant extract has anti-inflammatory property and helps in soothing the sore gums.
Chamomile: This plant extract reduces pain and irritability
Catnip: It helps in consolingirritated babies
Clove: It is ananesthetic agent which reduces pain.
Clothes can be moistened with these products and applied in chilled condition. It can also be given as beverage or applied topically.
Benzocaine based teething gels:
Benzocaine products should be used infants and children only under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.Benzocaine reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin by formation of methemoglobinemia. Due to lack of oxygen in the body infants may turn blue and results inshortness of breath and rapid heart rate. The condition is rare but it can turn fatal for the baby. The symptoms of benzocaine poisoning can appear immediately or may take hours. Benzocaine is sold as an over-the-counter anesthetic under the brand Baby Orajel, Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, and Orabase.
Homeopathic teething gels:
Homeopathic medications are believed to be composed of natural ingredients which have therapeutic effects on the body. But FDA analysis has shown that either these ingredients are too less in quantity as claimed in the label to have therapeutic effect or have been added in excessive amounts against the label claim which can have deleterious effects on the body. There are regulation on the contents which has to be added and indicatedon the label but FDA does not assuresafety and efficacy of these products.
A number of homeopathic teething gels, liquids and tablets are available in the market. Homeopathic medicines are usually considered to be safe and effective treatment option but FDA has found inconsistencies in the quantity of the teething gel formulations. Some of the market formulation had irregular amounts of belladonna extract. Belladonna extract is toxic substance which is being added in certain homeopathic teething tablets. The amount mentioned in the label of the teething tablet is far more than what is actually present. Individual bodies react different to different doses of Belladonna, it is advised not to use Homeopathic teething products.In addition, there are no proven health benefits of homeopathic teething tablets.
Lidocaine based teething gels:
This is also an anesthetic soothing gel which is being used for teething infants. FDA does not recommend use of lidocaine basedteething gel. This product has its own side effects such as choking due to breathing of food, impairment of functioning of cardiovascular system and nervous system. If you find any of these symptoms rush to the doctor immediately.
Symptoms of belladonna poisoning include drowsiness, heart problem, seizures, and excessive sleepiness, if you find any of these symptoms after using belladonna products, immediately rush to your pediatrician.
Consult your doctor immediately if any sign of poisoning such as seizures, color change of body, difficulty in breathing, increased heart rate, palpitation etc.
Teething gel seems to be an effective remedy for soothing your distressed child but be careful while choosing the teething gel. Each product has its own advantages and disadvantages. Few teething gels which are available in the market are harmful and may even turn fatal for your baby. Look for alternate methods to ease pain such as
Over the counter NSAIDs under the supervision of your pediatrician
Rubbing of gums with hands
Giving chilled foods and water
Wooden toys which are coated with food grade material