Monday, June 4, 2012

Teething Gels dangerous?

A report came out on Thursday May 31 that read: 
"Rubbing topical anesthetics such as Anbesol or Orajel on the throbbing gums of a teething baby can lead to methemoglobinemia, a serious condition that leads to oxygen deprivation and — in extreme cases — death, the FDA warned today."  Read full report here. 

Symptoms from methemoglobinemia, using teething gels included
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips and nail beds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness
  • Rapid heart rate
The products that were tagged in the report included  "Hurricaine, Baby Orajel and Orabase, as well as Orajel and Anbesol".

We always want to comfort our children and ease their pain.  Most of the time you can comfort them with a cooled washcloth, cool teething rings, and such.  I think it would be recommended to use natural comforts instead of reaching for a over the counter gel.  When my children were teething we massaged their gums with our finger.  I will warn, sometimes being a human teething ring hurts, but I never minded.

Another great option recommended by a few Natural Moms,  Amber Teething Necklace-the natural choice for mother and child.  Also check out Hazelaid and natural healing. 

What is alarming even more here, is that this information was available in 2006, and I still see these on the shelves!  What are your thoughts on this?


  1. Oh, wow. I don't have any kids, but I'll be sure to tell my friends and family with little kids. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Seriously - my son is past that now...thank goodness. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Honestly, I feel bad for the little ones who did have this issue, but 19 cases of children affected by this in 6 years isn't a lot. That's just over 3 a year. They're not providing much info on the children either - what if they had tons of allergies and were prone to reacting to things anyways? What if a parent excessively used it?

    I'm not trying to downplay what did happen, but I'm also tired of statements released by the FDA like this, without giving us all the facts. Do they think we're stupid? It's like the whole remove-Hylands-teething tablets off the market because a child *could* possibly overdose if they swallowed 3 full bottles at once. (That's what my doctor said.)

    Me personally? I've used Orajel on a rare occasion with my toddler and I would keep it using it.

    All that being said, I appreciate you letting us know, Kelley! :) Have a wonderful day!

    1. Erika, I completely agree with you that the numbers being small. For me it is just another reason I went to more natural approaches to these events. I personally did use the Hylands teething tablets, even when they recalled it. I knew my children would not be able to down a whole bottle, because I kept out of reach. I think that the Natural Industry gets things pulled and recalled more than the mass produced main stream items, that actually should be pulled. I appreciate your view of FDA claims, as well. I am not always fast to jump on their ban wagon, but in this case I personally know so many moms who do use teething gels. I would hate for their child to be in one of the small numbers. I started to use the homeopathic tablets and natural soothers and thought them to be the way to go for me. Thank you for your honest opinion.

  4. I would never use a product that even poses the RISK of harming my child. Thank you so much for posting this, I will share it with my friends and family. I promptly returned all of our Hylands teething tablets when they were recalled and refused to use their products anymore so it looks like I need to add this to the list! There are plenty of other methods to help a teething child that won't put their life in danger!

    1. Yes, Sarah. I always feel it better to be safe than sorry. I personally believe the Hylands tablets to be a shutout by Big pharma and other larger corporations. Although the risk was there if a child opened a bottle in a bag or purse. When I used them 8 years ago, I wished they had a child safe lid,it would have corrected the potential harm. I always kept mine up and away so the kids could never get into it. If I had babies today, I would not have use the tablets either, just chilled soothers, the amber necklaces, calming essential oils, and the like. I know so much more now than I did back then. Thank y

  5. We didn't have horrible teething. The beads look like a great tool!

  6. I tried teething gels with my first child, and I didn't care for it. I did find that teething rings worked the best. It kept the child quiet, and got that tooth through quicker.

    Danielle @ Royalegacy

  7. Amber teething necklaces work very well. I'm glad they came up with these because my little one doesn't care for teething gels.

  8. I have never used any teething gels, my kids seemed to do just fine. Thanks for the info!

  9. Mine are past this age but boy is it scary!

  10. I will pass this info to my brother in law. Thanks!