Does your child use over-the-counter teething products? If so, you may want to dispose of them. The FDA is warning consumers to stop the use of OTC teething products containing benzocaine. 

You may use these products to relieve the pain your child gets from teething. Unfortunately, they may be doing much more harm than good. 

Serious risk

According to officials, these benzocaine products may cause serious health issues in children and babies. Adverse effects include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Pale skin
  • Grey or blue nails

These are all signs and symptoms of a medical condition called methemoglobinemia. This condition causes the oxygen level in the blood to reach dangerously low levels. You may notice these symptoms in your child mere minutes after using the product. If you have an infant who displays these issues, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Not effective

Even when these products do not cause health issues, they do not necessarily serve a positive purpose. The FDA says these products have a lack of efficacy in regard to teething. Due to no significant benefit and the health risks of these oral health products, there is no reason for manufacturers to keep producing and selling them. 

Examples of products

Benzocaine oral health products come in the form of sprays, gels, lozenges, ointments and solutions. Common brand names include the following:

  • Orajel
  • Anbesol
  • Hurricaine
  • Orabase
  • Topex
  • Chloraseptic

There are also generic and store brands. No matter what brand or form of product you have, you should stop your child from using it immediately. 

Alternative options

If your infant or young child has teething discomfort, you may want to try an alternative method such as teething toys made from hard rubber. You may also be able to rub the gums to provide temporary relief.