Teething gels are one of several treatment options for teething.

Teething is not an illness or a disease: it is a perfectly natural process which every baby goes through. But it does cause a fair amount of pain and discomfort.

There are ways of easing this which include teething rings, biscuits, toys and gels.

A teething gel is a good option if your baby is prone to sickness and/or diarrhoea during this time. There are some babies who develop this as a result of ingesting too much saliva or drool which then upsets their sensitive stomachs. But this can also be caused by them chewing an object such as a teething toy which is covered with dirt and germs.

A teething gel avoids this risk as it is directly rubbed onto your baby’s gums. But this gel must be used with care so follow the instructions given carefully.

There have been concerns raised about using a teething gel on babies under the age of 4 months old due to the inclusion of a chemical known as ‘choline salicylate’. But gels such as Bonjela Teething Gel contain lidocaine instead which is a type of painkiller that soothes the pain of sore gums caused by teething.

If you are worried about this then ask your local pharmacist or GP for advice.

Choose a sugar free teething gel as this is less likely to damage your baby’s teeth. The milk teeth are quite delicate so need to be handled with care. Plus it is a good idea to establish a good dental hygiene routine at a very early age as this will reduce the risk of dental problems, e.g. tooth decay, later on.

A teething gel is cool and soothing on the gums but there are alternatives which you can use such as a chilled teething ring, teething toys or teething biscuits.

Another option is a teething powder.