Amber teething necklace is promoted as a magical wand to relief your little one from the teething pain of sore gums. Are teething necklaces safe? You are reading this article probably because you have a baby at home and you see baby teething symptoms and the struggle through this phase of growing. As a parent you want teething relieve for your infant and would do everything possible on earth. I am sure you want to move the mountains for your baby, at the same time ensure that while addressing the teething problem, you are not getting into something that is life threating. Let’s understand how the baltic amber teething necklaces work. Let’s also be aware of the safety and health issues that are associated around it. More so, let us see if there are safe alternatives to these amber necklaces. Afterall, you want your baby to be safe, all times.
What are Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces?
Amber teething necklaes are made of Baltic amber. The amber supposedly contains an analgesic substance called succinic acid that is released by the beads when it gets in contact with the warmth of the child’s body. This succinic acid is then absorbed through the skin. The teething necklace works like an anasthesia on the swollen, sore gums. The people who advocate this, say that this relieves the baby from the pain.
What is Succinic Acid?
Succinic acid is a natural element found in human body and also in many foods. It is a odorless white solid. Succinic acid derives its name from Latin word succinum, meaning amber, from which the acid is obtained. It is used as a food additive and dietary supplement and is reconized safe for those uses by US FDA.
Myths of using Amber Teething Necklace
The promotors of amber theething necklace say that succinic acid from the amber beads works as a natural painkiller. They advertise as this being a drug-free and natural way to relieve the teething pain. Here are some myths around it.
- First things first: no studies have yet proved that these necklaces do anything at all. No modern science theory validates this Marketing gimmick.
- No studies show the analgesic effect of succinic acid.
- While Baltic amber does contain succinic acid, no studies state that it releases succinic acid at body temperature.
- No evidence that succinic acid can be transmitted through the skin.
- No scientific evidence that succinic acid used externally can help reduce pain.
- Even if all the above is true, the concentration of the acid in the small beads of a teething necklace would be ridiculously small to have any impact for the teething months.
Risks of using Teething Necklaces for Babies
Regardless of whether or not you believe they work, these amber beads are a safety risk to your child. Most pediatricians (if not all) don’t recommend using them for the following reasons:
- Succinic acid is a skin and respiratory irritant.
- Succinic acid carries a a risk of serious eye damage .
- Pediatricians do not recommend jewelry for a child under 3 years.
- These amber necklaces are prone to choking
- Necklaces are a cute strangling device for babies
- It may perhaps have long term health hazards as the studies around it are not complete.
- Purity of amber is another risk that you carry. A lot of fake necklaces are sold which are nothing but resins or something treated articficially to look like sun-kissed amber.
Alternatives to Amber Teething Necklace
There are lots of other tried-and-tested techiques to relief teething pain for babies. These not only releive sore gums safely, but are also very inexpensive. Here are a few worth trying:
a. Toys, to chew:
Textured surfaces work best for soothing the gums of your little one. Toys made of rood, rubber or plastic and be great healers for sore gums. Any toy that your baby likes should be fine.
Teethers just happen to be designed to conviniently be placed in the mouth. When having a toy as a teether or in general, never give toys so small in size that they could be a choking hazard.
Benefits of these toy teethers are that:
- does not contain toxic chemicals, only natural materials.
- easy for baby to hold and use.
- parents love them .
- inexpensive and fit in any budget.
b. Gum massage:
A gentle massage on the sore spots gives relief to your little one, although temporarily. Make sure you wash your hands well before you do this. Also be ready for a little bite at times.
c. Cold non-edible things:
Chilling the baby’s gums with some material causes a numbing action. It eases off the ache and gum inflammation. You can freeze a wet washcloth (with one end tied for better gnawing). A chilled spoon also works well. These are some things you can use for gum relief.
d. Cold edible things:
A towel soaked in chamomile tea and frozen can give soothing action. You could also offer ice water in a sippy cup or frozen breast milk in bags. Try giving some frozen fruits like peaches, apples or vegetables like carrots or cucumbers in a mesh teether and your infant would chew on them happily for hours. These are some safe ways you can help your little one get some relief from sore gums during the teething.
If nothing works at all to sooth the pain, you may want to check with the pediatrician for an appropriate pain reliever. Avoid creams or gel application.
This gives you a multi-dimensional view on amber teething necklace. Tells you the theory behind it and the myths and risks associated with it. Moreover, when you have safe alternatives to relief those soring gums, why risk?
Here’s hoping those pearly whites pop up sooner with relatively less pain. And sooner you would be talkiing about wiggly tooth.