The FDA recently recommended not using topical anesthetics containing lidocaine to treat infants and children with teething pain .  In 2011, they recommended against using topical anesthetics containing benzocaine.  Since pretty much all topical anesthetics contain either lidocaine or benzocaine, they recommend parents and caregivers not to use topical medications for teething pain.  This includes Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, Orabase, and various store brands.

Instead, parents and caregivers should follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for treating teething pain:

  • Use a teething ring chilled in the refrigerator (not frozen).
  • Gently rub or massage the child’s gums with your finger to relieve the symptoms.

Adults who use topical anesthetics should be careful not to swallow any more than is absolutely unavoidable.

Contact me if you have any questions.

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18 years.