Do Teething Babies Need Medicine on Their Gums? No

There are more theories about teething and “treating” a baby’s sore gums than there are teeth in a child’s mouth. One thing doctors and other health care professionals agree on is that teething is a normal part of childhood that can be treated without prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Too often well-meaning parents, grandparents and caregivers want to soothe a teething baby by rubbing numbing medications on the tot’s gums, using potentially harmful drugs instead of safer, non-toxic alternatives. That’s why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning parents that prescription drugs such as viscous lidocaine are not safe for treating teething in infants or young children, and that they have hurt some children who used those products. FDA has previously recommended that parents and caregivers not use benzocaine products for children younger than 2 years, except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional. Benzocaine—which, like viscous lidocaine, is a local anesthetic—can be found in such OTC products as Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel, and Orabase. The use of benzocaine gels and liquids for mouth and gum pain can lead to a rare but serious—and sometimes fatal—condition called methemoglobinemia, a disorder in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood stream is greatly reduced. And children under 2 years old appear to be at particular risk.
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm385817.htm?source=govdelivery...