Lidocaine is Not for Kids

Posted on July 16th, 2022

New Iberia dentist, Dr. Rebecca Charpentier at Charpentier Family Dentistry discusses lidocaine, a pain reliever that treats mouth irritation in adults, and why it is not safe for children to use.Oral viscous lidocaine is to treat pain relief from mouth irritation in adults as a result of chemotherapy and other medical procedures. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to caregivers that this type of lidocaine should not be used to treat teething pain in infants and young kids, warning that the drug could cause serious harm or even prove to be fatal.

The FDA feels—and Charpentier Family Dentistry agrees—that topical pain relievers applied to children’s gums are not useful because they wash out of the baby’s mouth within minutes, and some—such as benzocaine—are harmful or even fatal to young children. Oral viscous lidocaine falls into the same category as benzocaine—when too much is ingested by a young child, the results can range from seizures and brain injury to death.

By the time children turn 3, most of them have had 20 baby teeth push through their gums, so they will have had sore or tender gums during that time. Rather than use of a topical pain reliever, try gently rubbing their gums with a cool spoon, a moist gauze pad, a clean finger, or a chilled teething ring. 

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a child’s first dental visit take place within 6 months after the first tooth appears, but no later than the first birthday.

Getting children started with regular preventive care and oral hygiene at Charpentier Family Dentistry gets them comfortable with healthy habits at a young age. Get in touch with us today to make an appointment for your child!


The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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