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Benzocaine Warning for Young Children

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a warning regarding the use of oral benzocaine products, such as Orajel, Orabase, Anbesol and others, typically used on children less than two years old age when they are teething. Benzocaine is the main ingredient in these over the counter gels and liquids which are applied to the mouth and gums to reduce pain. The FDA has received reports of a rare, but potentially life threatening condition known as methemoglobinemia, caused by the use of these products. The condition results in a great reduction of the amount of oxygen carried through the bloodstream and, in most severe cases, can cause death. The FDA is recommending that benzocaine products should not be used on children less than two years of age, except under the advice and supervision of a health professional. For more information, see Benzocaine Warning for Young Children.

For additional information, including alternative pain management for teething, see teething.

For information regarding oral health for all ages visit our website: Oral Health.

Key Contacts
Oral Health:
(608) 266-4821