Sep 25 , 2020
Teething is an important yet often difficult milestone in a baby’s life. As your baby’s first set of teeth begin to sprout, fussiness and discomfort are bound to put a frown on his face. So what can you do to help your baby start smiling again even while his teeth start to grow? Well, you can always opt for safe and popular teething rings.
A teething ring is a classic remedy for all levels of discomfort. These toys relieve pain by applying soothing pressure on baby gums. Every time your baby takes a bite of a teething ring, he’s bound to feel less pain and stress due to sprouting teeth. While teething rings are known to be safe and popular with many families, it’s still important to keep these essential safety tips in mind when letting your baby use them.
When Should My Child Get a Teething Ring?
It’s usually best to give your little one a teething ring once his teeth begin to poke through the gums. Most babies start growing teeth at around 4-6 months, though some babies may start teething earlier or later depending on their genetics.
Drooling is a good sign of teething. If your baby starts to get drool on her toys, bib, and anything else that she can touch and hold, feel her gums to check whether or not any teeth are about to sprout. You should feel small bumps on your child’s gums if there are any teeth that are about to emerge.
Another main sign of teething is fussiness. Some pain during teething is to be expected since your baby’s teeth will have to poke their way out through the gums. Your baby may become crankier and more irritable than usual due to the pain from teething. He may also have trouble sleeping and cry a lot while his teeth haven’t completely emerged yet. Loss of appetite due to pain and irritability can also happen during teething. The best thing to do while your baby’s teeth are still growing is to soothe your baby’s discomfort as best as you can.
It’s important to remember that fever and diarrhea aren’t signs of teething at all. Rather, these are symptoms of childhood illnesses that babies are very prone to during teething. If your baby is experiencing a very high fever or has troubles with his gut, it’s best to visit your local pediatrician as soon as possible.
Teething Ring Alternatives That Aren’t Safe
Many products that claim to soothe discomfort in teething babies aren’t as safe as parents expect them to be. Here are some teething remedies parents should steer clear of.
1. Teething Gels
Medication may seem like a fast and effective way to numb pain, but they’re far from safe for babies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges parents to avoid soothing teething pain with any kind of topical medication since these only offer high risks and low benefits.
Most teething gels and OTC creams use Benzocaine as an active ingredient. Methemoglobinemia—a fatal condition where oxygen in the blood stream becomes greatly reduced—can occur in babies when products containing Benzocaine aren’t washed out of their mouths properly. If you really need to use teething gels for your baby, only do so under a doctor’s supervision.
2. Teething Jewelry
Teething necklaces, bracelets, and other kinds of jewelry for teething aren’t very safe for babies. This is because loose beads and cords used for teething jewelry can pose a significant choking risk. Teething jewelry can also injure a child’s mouth and even cause allergic reactions and irritation.
Amber necklaces can supposedly numb pain using succinic acid. However, no studies have found these to be effective at relieving teething pain in babies. The cords in these necklaces can also wrap around a child’s neck and cause choking.
Instead of trying out any kind of teething jewelry, stick to products that don’t contain any small beads or strings since these are less likely to injure little kids.
Hazardous Ingredients to Avoid
Certain ingredients in baby toys can do more harm than good for your little one. When shopping for your baby’s teething ring, make sure to steer clear of these hazardous ingredients.
Phthalate is an ingredient used mainly to bind scents and soften plastic in various products. This toxic ingredient has also been known to cause hormone disruptions in the body. Some studies also suggest that phthalates may have a strong link to various health problems such as obesity and untimely puberty.
Phthalate is often disguised as “parfum” or “fragrance” on many ingredients lists. To avoid any risk to your child’s health, try to go for products that are labeled as fragrance and odor-free.
2. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
PVC is a toxic plastic that contains several unsafe chemical additives, such as phthalates, cadmium, and lead. Used to soften hard plastic or rubber material, it can pose a significant risk to children. This is because the toxic chemicals used in PVC can evaporate and enter a child’s nose, mouth, and lungs. As much as possible, look for products that are 100% free from PVC or Vinyl.
3. Bisphenol-A (BPA)
BPA is a popular ingredient found in many food containers and water bottles. However, it can pose a significant risk to children due to its strong links with increased blood pressure, as well as brain, hormonal, and behavioral problems. Most products are labeled as “BPA-Free”, but some trace amounts can be found on plastics labeled with the “7” recycling symbol. To lower any risk of BPA exposure in your child, it’s also good to look for products that are free from polycarbonate.
Research has found that children exposed to high levels of cadmium are three times more likely to develop learning disabilities. Some other health risks associated with cadmium also include low birth weight, kidney disease, and lung cancer.
Latex allergies may cause life-threatening symptoms in children, such as breathing problems and severe swelling. Some rubber toys and products can contain trace amounts of latex, so check the ingredients list or avoid anything with rubber if possible.
Making Teething Rings Safer for Babies
Teething rings are perfectly safe for babies to chew on, but they can become quite hazardous when they aren’t used properly. Here are some important teething ring safety tips to remember when helping your baby deal with teething.
1. Opt for Safe Ingredients
Some teething rings can contain ingredients that are dangerous for a delicate baby’s health. When looking for teething rings, be sure to go over the ingredients list first. You can also contact the manufacturer if something about your chosen product doesn’t seem right at all.
2. Don’t Use the Freezer
Teething rings that are left in the freezer can become way too firm and hard to chew safely. They can pierce a baby’s gums or even cause nasty irritation. Always stick to a refrigerated teething ring instead of a frozen one to ensure your baby’s safety.
3. Go Liquid-Free
Avoid teething rings filled with liquid since these present a significant choking hazard to babies. They can even cause severe illness and bacterial contamination when ingested. In contrast, teething rings without any liquid are far less likely to pose huge risks for your child’s safety.
4. Avoid Choking Hazards
Beads, strings, and tiny decorations aren’t safe at all for babies. It takes only a second for tiny parts to snap off a teething ring and slide into a child’s throat. To avoid any risk of choking or injury, always stick to teething rings without any detachable or tiny parts.
Besides teething pain, stuffy noses are another common discomfort that parents have trouble dealing with. When your baby’s smile starts to fade during sick days, help him breathe and laugh better with Watolt’s high-quality baby nasal aspirator. Compete your family first-aid kit and order yours from our online store today!