When your infant gets a random fever, and won’t stop fussing it can be frustrating. When these random fits strike, it feels like there’s nothing that can help your little one feel better. Unfortunately, these hysterical episodes can be caused by your child’s teeth erupting.
Babies must go through a period of teething to allow their teeth to burst through their gums. There are many different practices that people try to help their child get through this painful period in their lives. Dr. James Kalina is here to help you dispel what works, what’s a myth, and explain the safest practices for your baby.
DO NOT Use Numbing Products On your Baby
According to the FDA, these numbing products can be unsafe for baby gums. Here’s why:
- Products that contain benzocaine (like Baby Orajel), can lead to a condition called methemoglobinemia. This is a serious disorder that reduces the amount of oxygen carried in the bloodstream.
- It is easy to overdose these medications. Any parent who has been through teething phases knows the desperation one feels in watching your baby suffer and being unable to ease the pain. Parents may mistakenly believe teething gels are safe and may apply the gel repeatedly, put it in baby’s formula, or even soak the pacifier with it. These practices could lead to an overdose!
- The FDA has also warned against homeopathic teething tablets, as these may have a product called belladonna, which is a toxic substance. Lab testing of these tablets revealed “inconsistent levels of belladonna” in the tablets, at times far exceeding the amount listed on the label.
Coming to the realization that these unsafe products are readily available for parents to use on their children can be scary. Be sure to ask your dentist for the best safe practices and products.
DO Try These Safer Teething Practices
Below are dentist-approved tips for surviving the teething phase safely:
- Run a washcloth under cold water. Your child can chew safely on it and feel relief from the “itchy” feeling of erupting teeth. Purchase a teething ring and pop it in the freezer.
- Massage your child’s teeth and gums with a clean finger or a spoon.
Teething is not only a time to soothe your child’s symptoms, it also marks the beginning of a lifetime of good oral building healthy habits for your baby. Be sure to schedule a dental appointment as soon as your child’s teeth begin to erupt!
About Our Office
Searching for the perfect family dentist is one of the best decisions that you can make for yourself and your loved ones. Dr. James J. Kalina is dedicated to offering a wide array of family dentistry services to ensure everyone you care about has a healthy and beautiful smile. This goes for even the youngest members of your family. If you have any questions about your little one’s oral health, feel free to contact our Mankato office.