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Should I use teething powders to help my baby?

baby biting on plastic toy
What are teething powders? Are they safe and do they work? Here’s a short guide to the best teething powder products and how to use them.

If you’re caring for a teething baby, you’ll be all too familiar with the tell-tale signs of teething pain. Red cheeks, drooling, irritability, fussiness, sleeplessness and discomfort that no amounts of cuddles can cure. You’ve probably heard fellow parents recommend teething powders as a miracle cure. But what are teething powders and are they safe for babies?

What are the signs of teething?

First things first, how do you know if your baby’s teething? The onset of teething varies from baby to baby, but according to the NHS, most babies start teething around six months old.1

Common baby teething symptoms

  1. Sore and red gums
  2. One flushed cheek
  3. Ear rubbing
  4. More frequent dribbling
  5. Gnawing and chewing
  6. Increased fretfulness

When should I give my baby teething powder?

Before trying teething powders, you could first give your baby a rubber teething ring or toy – something for them to chew and press their gums against for relief. If they’ve started solid food (and provided you can supervise in case of choking), you could give them something hard and healthy to munch. For example, try carrot sticks, apple slices or breadsticks.

But if these methods don’t work, homeopathic teething powders or other products including teething gels may help soothe the discomfort.

Teething powders are homeopathic or herbal remedy granules used to symptomatically help relieve pain. Packaged in single-use sachets and pre-measured for convenience, they’re easy and convenient to use. Simply empty the sachet directly into baby’s mouth.

Summary

  • Babies start teething at different ages
  • The average age for onset of teething is six months
  • Teething symptoms vary from baby to baby
  • There are a range of homeopathic methods to help soothe a baby’s teething pain

Are teething powders safe for babies?

Alarmingly, not all baby teething products are considered suitable for babies. Some unlicensed products have been linked to serious side effects including seizures, difficulty breathing, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, and agitation. Whilst these unlicensed products are not readily available in the UK, they could be available through online pharmacies, so it’s important to ensure you only ever give your baby appropriately approved options.2

To help you decipher what’s safe and what’s not, this list of homeopathic products licensed by the MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) is a good starting point.3

In addition, some licensed teething products have been found to contain potentially harmful ingredients, including sucrose, alcohol and/or lidocaine (a local anaesthetic).4 It goes without saying that it’s important to always read the label to check product ingredients and limit the use of any potentially harmful substance.

Summary

  • Teething powders are a type of homeopathic teething remedy
  • Other teething remedies include teething gel
  • Some unlicensed teething products can cause serious side effects
  • It’s important to choose products that are licensed as safe for babies

Which teething powder is best?

Whilst you’ll want to check the label for your own baby’s needs, these are our customer favourites – tried and tested products regularly rated 5 stars. All licensed by the MHRA, these are a good place to start when choosing the best teething product for your baby.

1. Nelson’s Teetha Teething Granules

This teetha powder is produced in a single-dose sachet product and is consistently rated 5* by our customers. A big plus of these teetha granules is convenience – simply empty contents direct into baby’s mouth.

Customer review: 5 stars

“Great product, seems to help reduce the pain and discomfort. With a calming effect.” - Wendy Christmas

2. Nelson’s Teetha Teething Gel

Nelson’s Teetha Teething Gel is a sugar-free homeopathic gel for symptomatic relief of teething pain. Simply apply a dab with your finger to baby’s sore teeth and gums. 

Customer review: 5 stars

“I use this product for my baby and I am so happy and recommended” - Cvetka

3. Weleda Chamomilla Granules

This teething powder, which is homeopathic, contains soothing chamomile to help relieve teething pain. Simply dissolve the granules directly in the mouth, or dissolve in boiled and cooled water for young babies. Regularly rated 5* by our customers and Gold Winner in the Project Baby Awards 2020.

Customer review: 5 stars

“Amazing these made such a difference to my daughters teething, will defo buy again.” - Carlyb

4. Jack N Jill Teething Gel

This chamomile and calendula soothing gel for teething babies is non-medicated and a big plus is how easy it is to apply. Spread a pea-sized amount directly over gums where required.

Customer review: 5 stars

“This actually works!! I've tried so many teething gels and this one actually seems to soothe my babies gums. Finally!! So easy to use too and it actually tastes nice.” - LeahW

Summary

  • A range of teething products licensed for use by MHRA are available in the UK
  • Licensed products include Nelson’s Teetha Teething Granules and Nelson’s Teetha Teething Gel

Conclusion: do teething products work?

According to the NHS, “there’s a lack of evidence that teething gels are effective.”5 But that’s not to say they aren’t worth trying. After all, there’s plenty of positive feedback from real parents who’ve tried and tested the products on our shelves. However, it’s important to make sure you choose a product that’s licensed as safe for babies and is age-appropriate with no potentially harmful ingredients.

Last updated: 4 March 2021

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