Are Amber Teething Necklaces Safe for Babies

baby chewing amber teething necklace

Babies’ teeth grow out naturally without any problems in most cases. However, there are times when things turn out quite the way you wouldn’t have expected, and you find yourself looking for teething aids. Amber teething necklaces bear the promise of making teething pain-free and natural but are they worth it? Although experts agree that they are created using natural ingredients and are essentially drug-free, they do have a few concerns, which is why they are not recommendable.

Many parents prefer using amber teething necklaces because of the way they are designed. The necklaces release succinic acid, which is known to reduce inflammation and the swelling of gums. It produces an analgesic effect and provides relief from pain and swelling which arise during teething. In this article, we shall discuss all the possible questions you may have had about amber teething necklaces. Read on to know more.

What Is Amber Teething Necklace?

When a tree is cut down, or its bark leaks out the sap, it fossilizes over time and hardens when left alone. The fossilized resin is then chipped and polished to make amber beads. Holes are made into these beads and threaded to make necklaces. Manufacturers of amber teething necklaces claim that these necklaces reduce discomfort while teething and make the baby feel calmer. Parents swear by their use, and it is believed that the darker the shade of amber, the more therapeutic it turns out to be. The quality and integrity of amber used for these necklaces also depend on the region they are sourced from, and the most popular amber is called Baltic Amber.

Should Infants Wear Amber Teething Necklaces?

There are many myths associated with amber necklaces and rumours floating around in the parenting community about how amber necklaces work. Although it’s true that succinic acid is released by the necklaces, there is no scientific or medical evidence that backs up claims such as whether the necklaces are indeed anti-inflammatory. There’s also zero proof that the oil in these necklaces minimizes pain or reduces inflammatory responses triggered by the immune system.

However, despite the lack of hard evidence, parents still end up using them and vouch for these necklaces.

Benefits of Amber Teething Necklaces

Although they’re not a miracle cure to teething woes, some benefits have been noted in circles. The most popular amber necklace benefits are:

1. A Natural Adaptogen

Amber is a natural adaptogen and helps the body better adapt to stress. It helps the baby feel relaxed and regulates his sleep cycles. A higher-quality sleep also means a stronger immune system and better metabolism. This also makes it easy to maintain, gain, or lose weight, depending on the baby’s feeding schedules and growing needs.

2. Relieves Aches and Pains

Amber has pain-relieving properties that help with joint pains and aches. Wearing amber teething necklaces have said to reduce the pain that stems from making repetitive motions or movements.

3. Healing Benefits

Some parents have reported in noting a reduced frequency in the flareups of chronic conditions like fibromyalgia, migraines, eczema, shoulder and back pains, etc. Again, this is based on parental experiences only and isn’t supported by hard scientific evidence.

Do Amber Teething Necklaces Really Work?

Amber teething necklaces aren’t a magic pill for curing different conditions. Just as tonics or supplements don’t show changes within a day, these necklaces won’t have any effect if worn for even a week. The changes noticed by parents in their little ones’ sleep cycles and overall health have been noted through the regular use of these teething necklaces for a long period of time. If worn over weeks, these teething necklaces do provide many healing benefits to babies and save parents from a lot of the problems they face when it comes to natural teething.

Risks of Using Amber Teething Necklaces

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had released an official report recommending parents to not use amber teething necklaces. According to the report, given below are a few reasons why they were against these teething necklaces:

  • Amber teething necklaces are primarily worn around the neck. This leads to a possible case of strangulation in babies due to their soft neck structure.
  • Amber beads have been deemed as choking hazards as babies could swallow them. Worst cases of choking could lead to death.
  • Babies could also experience bleeding or infections in the gums.
  • Amber necklace jewellery could also accidentally pierce the gum and trigger gum or teeth infections.

What Alternatives Can Be Given to Baby In Place of Amber Teething Necklace?

If you’re open to trying out alternative remedies that are cheaper and more natural than using an amber necklace, here’s what you can do:

1. Give Those Gums a Massage

Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and water, pat dry, and give your baby’s gums a gentle massage. This provides temporary relief from the pain and eases sore gums.

2. Use Chewable Toys

Chewable toys made from rubber, wood, or plastic are much safer than amber teething necklaces. These don’t contain any choking hazards, nor can they be broken into pieces that cause injuries. You can try different textures and go with the ones your baby likes.

3. Use Anklets or Bracelets

If you’re using amber for the skin and anti-inflammatory benefits, you don’t have to resort to teething necklaces. There are amber bracelets and anklets available that are much safer to wear around the wrists and feet. You can give those a try.

4. Use Baby-Safe Pain Relievers

If other methods of pain-relieving aren’t working and you’re resorting to using some medication, make sure you get the doctor’s approval and a prescription. Baby pain-relievers like acetaminophen or Tylenol for infants work well in relieving the soreness in the gums. Stay away from any creams or numbing gels since they could trigger negative reactions.

Things Parents Must Do to Avoid Accidents Due to Amber Teething Necklaces

If you choose to use amber teething necklaces, there are a few safety guidelines or precautions you need to follow:

  • Make sure the necklace is worn comfortably around the neck and doesn’t strangulate your child. You should be able to fit in two fingers in the space between the necklace and your child’s neck. Also, make sure it’s the correct size for their neck.
  • Don’t leave your child alone in the room when he’s wearing the necklace. Keep an eye on the child and remove it before you leave the room.
  • Look for pop safety clasps and double-check to see if the beads are threaded securely and not loose.

How to Choose the Best Amber Teething Necklace

To ensure you get a genuine amber teething necklace, there are a few tests you can do. Before you buy a natural teething necklace for babies that are made from amber, you want to make sure the seller offers a Certificate of Authenticity with every purchase.

Before you buy a Baltic amber teething necklace, here’s what you can do:

  • Heat the necklace and see if it emits a pine odour.
  • Look for raw amber before buying these necklaces. The most popular shades of the amber used in these necklaces are lemon yellow, white-yellow, beige, and brown. Gold-toned and darker shades are the most popular; however, there could be a chance they have been cooked to enhance the colours.
  • Some moms have reported that the lighter the colour, the more succinic acid in amber necklace there will be. Although there’s no proof behind this claim, it’s worth experimenting. There is a range of colours available, and despite the differences, all amber teething necklaces offer various healing benefits.
  • Look for the type of clasp or closure used for comfort and ease of wearing. Pop clasps are pretty popular choices while most necklaces come with a magnetic clasp or closure. If you don’t want an amber teething necklace, you can consider going for an amber bracelet instead.

FAQs

Do you have more questions about using amber teething necklaces? Here are the most common ones asked by parents.

1. At What Age Can My Baby Start Wearing an Amber Necklace?

Most parents start giving their babies amber teething necklaces after they turn four months old. Some babies wear them until their 3rd birthday, which is when the teething process finishes.

2. Is It Still Risky If My Child Wears an Amber Teething Necklace Only When She’s Awake?

For safety reasons, it is recommended that babies wear amber teething necklaces when they’re awake and only under parental supervision.

3. What Are Amber Teething Necklaces Made of?

Amber teething necklaces are made using amber beads or Baltic amber that is extracted from fossilized tree resin. These necklaces have a magnetic fastener and are meant to reduce pain during the teething process.

4. How Tight or Loose Should the Necklace Be?

A length of 12.6-inches for the teething necklace is considered to be the sweet spot for comfort. This ensures the necklace isn’t too tight, nor too long to cause discomfort or choking hazard.

5. How Long Do Amber Teething Necklaces Last?

If you take care of these necklaces properly, they can last up to almost as long as 2 years. Amber necklaces may fade or get brittle over time when exposed to harmful chemicals, perfumes, etc.

6. How Should I Take Care of the Amber Teething Necklace?

Don’t let your child wear the necklace if he’s going for a dip in the swimming pool because the chlorine content in the water could damage it. As for caring for the necklace, simply wash it in lukewarm water and gentle soap once a month, and let it dry out in the sun. You can even let your child wear the necklace during bath time.

Amber has been around for thousands of years, and there have been many folklores about it. There’s no doubt that parents use these teething necklaces for a reason, but they shouldn’t rely upon too much. Just like it is with tonics and supplements, using a little bit or using it for short periods wouldn’t hurt and may help with the teething process. But again, be sure to observe your baby’s cues, see how he responds, and check for signs of injuries if you’ve been giving your baby an amber necklace to chew on.

If your baby feels comfortable wearing the necklace, and the feeding and sleep schedule are on track, you can continue using them for a while and slowly wean them off when teething happens naturally. All we can say is try them and if it does end up working for your little one, then consider sticking for a while. Otherwise, there are much safer alternatives, which we’ve mentioned above, that you can try as they work just as well.

Also Read:

Common Teething Symptoms in Babies
Does Baby Teething Interfere with Breastfeeding?
Teething in Infants