Lidocane is a medication used to numb tissue in a specific area of the body. This trusted medication generally begins to numb an area within four minutes and lasts for a few hours.
For years Lidocane has been used as an effective numbing agent for dental procedures, on adults and children. Recently though, researchers have realized that there is one demographic of dental patients for whom Lidocane is not appropriate: teething children.
In 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that Lidocane should not be used to alleviate teething pain in infants and children. The FDA now requires a Boxed Warning, their highest precautionary measure, on the drug label to warn users.
Several factors led to the FDA issuing this warning. First, topical pain relievers rubbed on the gums are considered unnecessary in that they flush out of the mouth within minutes. If too much viscous Lidocane is administered to a child, resulting in it being swallowed, it can result in seizures, brain injury, heart problems, or even death.
The FDA also encourages parents to steer clear of over the counter topical teething medications. Always check with your dentist and pediatrician to ensure you’re treating teething pain safely and effectively.