The FDA has issued a warning against using teething jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry marketed as relieving infant teething pain.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration issued a warning on December 20, 2018, against the use of “teething jewelry” that is marketed to parents as relieving an infant’s teething pain.
The new FDA warning was issued to alert parents about the risks of teething jewelry after an 18-month old toddler died after strangling on his amber teething necklace during a nap.
The FDA said it had also received a report about a 7-month-old baby who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet and was taken to the hospital.
“We know that 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,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Dangerous Teething Jewelry
This FDA warning includes teething jewelry such as teething necklaces, teething bracelets, and other teething jewelry that is worn by either an adult or child.
It includes items marketed as teething jewelry for dads and teething necklaces for moms.
The warning covers teething jewelry beads made from various materials including amber, wood, marble, or silicone.
These teething jewelry products are not the same as traditional teething rings or teethers. These are still considered safe. Traditional teething rings are made of hard plastic or rubber and are not designed to be worn by adults or children.
Is Teething Jewelry Safe?
According to the FDA, teething jewelry, including necklaces and bracelets, are not safe and may cause serious injuries to infants and children. The risks of using teething jewelry include choking, strangulation, injury to the mouth, and infection.
The FDA also advises against using teething creams, benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, and lozenges for mouth and gum pain. These anesthetics can cause a life-threatening condition in small children called methemoglobinemia, in which the amount of oxygen carried through the blood is reduced.
Are Teething Rings Still Safe?
Traditional teething rings or teethers not meant to be worn as jewelry are still considered safe.
This FDA warning is about newer teething jewelry products that are intended to be worn by infants or adults and may be made with amber, wood, silicone or other materials.
Teething rings made from firm rubber are still recommended to help soothe teething pain.
Talk to your doctor about alternative ways you can reduce teething pain such as:
- Gently rubbing or massaging the gums with a clean finger
- Giving the teething child a teething ring made of firm rubber
- Make sure the teething ring is not frozen. If the object is too hard, it can hurt the child’s gums.
- Parents and caregivers should supervise the child during use.
- Read these recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics
We hope that you will be aware of the risks of using teething jewelry and warn others about this new warning issued by the FDA. There are teething rings that are safe for infants. Please do not use these newly popular teething necklaces and amber teething beads.
David Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in children’s pediatric dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with children’s dental care, thumb sucking and pacifier use, dental fears in children and baby dental care.
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FDA: Don’t use teething jewelry to relieve pain – American Dental Association
FDA warns about teething jewelry after 18-month-old dies – CBS News
FDA Warns Against Use of Teething Necklaces, Bracelets, and Other Jewelry Marketed for Relieving Teething Pain or Providing Sensory Stimulation: FDA Safety Communication – Food & Drug Administration
Baby Teething Pain – American Pediatric Association