The teething years can be extremely painful for your little one and as a parent you want to do anything you can to soothe their pain. While you’ve probably tried giving them Calpol, a teething toy, or teething gel, you might not be so familiar with amber teething necklaces.
They’re a type of teething necklace made of Baltic amber, but experts say they’re not safe and don’t work. Read on for everything you need to know about amber teething necklaces.
What are amber teething necklaces?
As well as being made from Baltic amber, some amber teething necklaces are also made from fossilized tree resin. The idea is that your baby will wear it and their body heat triggers the release of a tiny amount of oil containing succinic acid, which is absorbed into the bloodstream, without them having to chew on anything or put it into their mouth. When the oil is absorbed, some say, it has a pain-relieving effect on swollen and sore gums.
Do amber teething necklaces work?
Not only has there been no scientific study to suggest the effects of amber works, it has also been claimed that the succinic acid can only be released from amber when it is heated to about 200 degrees Celsius.
Risks of using amber teething necklaces
The Food and Drugs Administration warns about the use of teething necklaces and bracelets and it’s never recommended to put anything around an infants neck. The risks include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth and infection.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. says: “Teething necklaces and jewelry products have become increasingly popular among parents and caregivers who want to provide relief for children’s teething pain and sensory stimulation for children with special needs. We’re concerned about the risks we’ve observed with these products and want parents to be aware that teething jewelry puts children, including those with special needs, at risk of serious injury and death.”
Alternative teething remedies that really work
To numb your baby’s gums, give them a teether that’s been chilled in the fridge for half an hour. Or if they're over six months, offer her some cold water in a cup. Depending on their age, feed them chilled fruit purées or pop a chunk of frozen banana or plums in a baby feeder mesh bag for them to gnaw on safely.