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November 13, 2018 2 min read

Dr. Ellis here for Oral Care Club, discussing kind of a funny topic today. There's an old wives' tale out there about rubbing whisky on your baby's gums to stop them from teething. It's kind of an older one, but it's something that kinda has hung around and kinda morphed into rubbing any kind of alcoholic beverage on your baby's gums when they're teething is a good idea. It's not. It's a terrible idea, in fact. There are so many more things you can do for a teething baby than rubbing whisky, rum, scotch, whatever, on a baby's gums.

First thing is that alcohol, even a teaspoon of alcohol, for an infant can actually be lethal. So, it's a really bad idea to dispense alcohol to a child in any form, dose, even if it's just kind of wet on the end of your finger. That's the first thing. Second thing is that there are much more effective ways to numb your baby's gums than the alcohol in alcoholic beverages. It's just not that effective and won't do that good of a job, and will end up making you want to continue to dispense the alcohol, which thus then leads back into the first problem, that it's actually very harmful to infants. So you don't want to, number one, for the bad medical effects, and number two is that it's not really that effective. So what is really effective? First thing is just something a little cold.

You don't want to put something frozen 'cause we've all seen A Christmas Story, where you lick the flag pole, right? That's a bad idea, so don't give your kid a piece of ice, but something cool, something chilled on the gums. Then, there are over-the-counter numbing agents. If you don't want the chemicals in there, then that's fine, too. There are other things that are more holistic, essential-oil-type things that you can rub on their gums, home remedies that you can look up, but there are plenty of other things that you can do besides the alcohol. So just stay away from the alcohol. Most natural is just something a little cool out of the fridge or out of the freezer that's warmed up just a hair so it doesn't cause any harm to the baby's tongue or lips, and then any home remedies that you wanna come up with that don't involve chemicals, so, no, on the baby and the whisky. Have a good one.