Can you give a baby Orajel? The answer is a definite no. You shouldn’t.
However, some methods can be used that will be just as effective, if not more so, in relieving the discomfort associated with the teething process.
It is a process that begins when an infant is three months old and can continue until they reach the age of three. However, some baby goes through teething with hardly any problem. Other infants can experience so much discomfort that teething will disrupt their daily routine.
The child will start to become cranky, not wanting to eat, and have trouble sleeping. So, the parent could find themselves wanting to give their baby relief for the teething process desperately. One of the things a parent will automatically think of to give their child relief is Orajel. Or the baby version of the product.
But, is it wise for a parent to give their baby Orajel to relieve teething discomfort. It turns out this isn’t as good an idea as originally thought, why because this product, even in the infant version, contains Benzocaine. In 2018 the FDA declared that products that contain Benzocaine could be harmful to kids under the age of two years old.
The Reason for the Warning
No doubt this comes as a surprise to new parents. After all, Orajel created a formula to be used specifically for infants. But, as was discovered before this recommendation, even this form of the product had dire effects on our precious newborns. Products such as Orajel that contain Benzocaine have been linked to a dangerous and potentially deadly condition known as Methemoglobinemia. The condition causes a diminishing of oxygen in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of the condition that have been reported are trouble breathing, a child sleeping more than before. The baby could also have discoloration in their fingernails, lips, and even skin that could appear light gray or blue. Some other symptoms a parent may notice are headache, lightheadedness, and a faster pulse rate.
For the record, besides Orajel, these products also contain Benzocaine as well. Therefore, these shouldn’t be used on infants: Ambesol, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Orabase, and Topex.
Now some may be asking what about products that contain Lidocaine, which is another commonly used pain killer for teething?
The FDA recommends not to use these products on young kids who are teething. So, what should a parent do? Well, there are some safer and effective options that can help get a child through the teething stage.
Using Specially Designed Teether Toys
Sometimes the good old fashion basics are the best. Yes, there are some concerns regarding the plastics used. Some of these contain harmful chemicals, such as lead and heavy metals. So, it’s important to make sure that the one you buy is non-toxic and BPA free. These qualities mean it will be safer to use.
These specially designed toys that are made out of non-toxic materials and are designed to go safely in a child’s mouth. From there, a child bites down on the toy, which helps to soothe their irritated gums. Teething rings that contain liquid have the added feature of being able to be placed in the freezer.
However, make sure to remove these before the liquid becomes frozen. The trick is to chill the liquid, not harden it. As with adults, cold can help soothe a child’s inflammation and pain. Some parents have also discovered that using a teething toy can help to temporarily curb a child’s hunger, which gives a parent time to find a place to breastfeed or to prepare their food.
Yes, these will need to be sterilized periodically, and there are safe, effective ways to do this. These methods include using water and mild dish soap, followed by deluded vinegar. Remember, though, to ensure that the toy is properly rinsed off to take care of any residue.
Create Your Teething Item
If you still have some concerns about the issues surrounding teething toys, not to fret. There is another option open to you that is just as effective. Turn out you can also use a clean, sanitary washcloth or burp cloth. What you do is take the clean cloth and wet it on one of the sides.
Then take it and place it in the freezer or a certain length of time to make it cold as you would a teething ring. Once done, this is an ideal way to help ease a baby’s sore gums again by having them bite down on the frozen end. An ideal type of cloth to use for this method is one made with natural fibers such as organic cotton.
Using Pain Medication
So, what about over the counter pain medication design for kids being used during teething?
Well, according to some health experts over the counter medications aren’t necessarily needed during the teething process. There are some exceptions to this rule that some pediatricians will take, such as recommending a low dose of acetaminophen if the child’s discomfort is out of control.
However, this is always the decision of a physician and should never be something that a parent decides to do on their own.
Other Teething Methods to Avoid
Besides products such as Orajel and Lidocaine, there are a few other things that should be avoided. For example, don’t use teething jewelry. These may not be non-toxic, and these can lead to a choking hazard as well. While we are on the subject of choking hazards, a child who is teething tends to put random things in their mouth to relieve the pain.
So it is important to make sure they have something to teethe on that is safe for them to use most of the time. Second never give a child at this age aspirin, not even baby aspirin, since this has been linked to a deadly condition as well in baby’s just like Orajel.