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Teething Pain

My son's pediatrician said that Orajel (given in very small doses) is ok to give to my 8 month old who's teething.  Also, I just read about the recall on Hyland's tablets. What is your take on Orajel and Hyland's.  I think a large part of the recall is because of kids getting too much of the meds (overdosing), but just wanted to get your opinion on them.

Teething is impossible. We as doctors and dentists are unable to truly know if a child is experiencing teething pain. “Experts” attribute fussiness, fever, running nose and diarrhea to teething. After 7 of my own children and 11 years of private practice pediatrics, I have come to believe that children experience teething differently. I think most of this pain occurs prior to tooth eruption.

Since we do not have any measurable ways to evaluate teething, we do not have any good ways to study teething remedies. While Hylands teething tablets and Orajel are commonly used remedies, we (the Gordon family) do not use either of them. We tried Orajel with our first, but found it ineffective. As a general rule, I prefer my patients (and my children) not to be on medications.

Teething pain needs to be considered for fussy children between 6 months and 3 years of age. My children would typically be fussy for 2 to 3 days and then better for a week and then fussy again. For the most part, we try to console and comfort our fussy children without medications. Rarely, we will use ibuprofen or acetaminophen at bedtime when our children are fussy.  I would not recommend more that 1 or 2 doses a day for 2 or 3 days.  If your child seems in persistent pain see your doctor.

The current (2010) Hyland’s teething tablet recall was initiated after a routine FDA inspection. The FDA is concerned about dose consistency. Sounds like a similar problem as the recent tylenol, motrin and zyrtec recall.


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Written February 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician






gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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