Dentists warn that teething products risk infants’ health

07 November 2019

Parents should be on their guard when using teething powders, pills and gels, the British Dental Association (BDA) has warned.

New research shows most of those on sale contain potentially harmful ingredients.

Nine of the 14 products licensed for use in the UK were found to contain sucrose, alcohol and/or lidocaine, all of which can have harmful side effects, according to a paper in the British Dental Journal – which also points out that there is little evidence that the products are even effective in reducing teething pain.

Two products contained sucrose, which leaves newly erupted baby teeth susceptible to decay. Six products contained alcohol, and all six licensed teething gels contained lidocaine, which poses a risk of overdose at higher concentrations.

BDA chair Mick Armstrong said: ‘Buying a licensed product should offer confidence you’re making a safe choice. The reality is consumers are navigating a minefield of potentially harmful ingredients.’

The BDA has backed calls for no-nonsense guidance and for changes to licensing arrangements.

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