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FDA urges parents to stop using numbing medicines on teething babies’ gums

Posted at 1:49 PM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 16:49:03-04

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is urging parents to avoid using numbing medicine for teething babies.

Many oral numbing gels sold over the counter contain benzocaine. It’s an anesthetic but generally doesn’t work because it washes out of a baby’s mouth within minutes.

The FDA also says it can be dangerous. 

In rare cases, it can affect how the red blood cells carry oxygen.

Benzocaine is the active ingredient in several over-the-counter teething medications, including Anbesol, Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, and Topex.

Doctors say cold teething rings can help soothe babies’ pain, as long as the rings are not frozen.