Safe teething tips to soothe sore gums

Something as simple as teething can cause extreme pain for your child. No mom wants to see their baby in pain, but after the FDA warnings about benzocaine and the recall of other products such as Hyland's Teething Tablets finding something that works can be frustrating.

While the teething tablets were re-released, benzocaine has been associated with a rare but serious condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream resulting in death. Benzocaine is found in many over-the-counter pain gels and liquid medications such as Anbesol and Baby Orajel. Without those go-to tools, parents need to find other ways to soothe sore gums. The following recommendations can give you an effective arsenal to fight pain.

Gum massage

Simply massaging your baby's gums with a clean finger can help ease the pain. It can be helpful to do this before breastfeeding if your child is prone to biting. Rub a clean finger over the gums before and after to help soothe a sleepy baby. If nursing seems to aggravate the pain, consider incorporating other pain relievers to counteract the soreness. Pacifiers with nubs can be a helpful, natural tool for children to use on their own. This Raz Berry Teether is BPA free, adorable, gentle and dishwasher safe!

Apply cold

A chilled teething ring or baby spoon can provide relief. Be sure to keep the objects in the refrigerator, not the freezer though. A frozen spoon can stick to a child's gums and be incredibly painful to remove, think, "Christmas Story." A cold washcloth dipped in ice cold water or even formula if the child is on a feeding strike due to the pain can be comforting to gnaw on.

Offer chilled food

Depending on your child's age, you can offer appropriate food such as cold applesauce, yogurt or baby cereal. A cold banana can be messy, but offer extra nutrition. My daughter would eat slices of chilled banana, or should I say, mash chilled banana on her gums at every meal during the worst of the teething pain.


You can steer clear of benzocaine by opting for a natural version of Baby Orajel, or consider giving a dose of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Be sure to read the labels or call your doctor to ensure proper dosage. Medication can work wonders during a screaming episode, but should not be relied upon or overdone. More is definitely not better when it comes to any OTC medication.

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