Cutting teeth is no party—for babes or parents—so it’s understandable that we’d reach for any remedy reputed to ease the discomfort. Teething gels have long been popular, but according to a new report, they might not be that helpful for ailing gums.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) explains that there is “a very small risk of harm” when it comes to applying teething gels on your little one, because of its anaesthetic components—like lidocaine.
Lidocaine appears on the ingredients list of well-known brands such as Calgel, Dentinox and Bonjela; which does little to inspire trust in any other teething gels.
What’s more, the MHRA points out that there is actually minimal evidence of the analgesic benefit of teething gels. In short, they probably aren’t helping your child.
At present, these gels are readily available in supermarkets, but next year, 2019, their sale will be restricted to behind pharmacist counters.
So in the absence of teething gels, what is there to soothe toothy troubles?
The MHRA recommends trying out gentle gum massage (with a clean finger), or placing teething rings in the refrigerator—not freezer—for a couple hours to help bring down inflammation.
The MHRA’s Dr Sarah Branch concludes that if all else fails, you should consult the experts:
“We want to make sure you get the right information about teething. If your child continues to have problems with teething, talk to your pharmacist or healthcare professional about the best options.”