Are baby teething rings safe? It’s a question that lingers on many parents’ minds.
In the maze of baby products, ensuring the safety and health of your little one is paramount. If you’ve been sifting through countless options, wary of hidden hazards and chemicals, your concerns are shared by many.
With expertise in infant health and product safety, I’ve dissected the teething ring conundrum for definitive answers.
Dive into this investigative guide with me, and together, we’ll demystify the truths and myths, ensuring your baby’s teething journey is both comforting and secure.
Teething Toys and Teething Rings
Generally, teething rings or teething toys are safe. However, you should keep in mind that not all of these toys are created equal. Some teething rings contain harmful chemicals because they are made from plastic. Plastic is known to contain toxic chemicals like PVC, phthalates, BPA or bisphenol-A and many others. Regardless whether the teething toy is labeled as BPA-free, you should be wary about the potential harm of plastic toys. Remember that your baby will be putting this teething toy into her mouth. Never settle for anything dangerous because there are plenty of safer alternatives out there.
Teething rings made from natural rubber, silicone, wood and even cloth are considered safer than their plastic counterparts. Moreover, these toys are more eco-friendly because these materials are renewable and sustainable.
Safety should be at the top of your list when looking for the best toys for teething babies. Never fall to marketing hype and do your own research on the teething rings you think can help your child during the entire teething process.
Some of these toys contain fillings that provide comfort and help relieve pressure in the gums. However if you are worried that the baby might poke holes in the teether and accidentally ingest the filling then it is better to stay away from this type of teether.
You should also check the durability of the teether before making your purchase. Keep in mind that babies usually throw or drop teethers on the ground and these toys could end up in your nappy bag, strewn all over the floor so they have to be durable. But then again, never compromise safety with durability.
If budget allows, it is a good idea to buy different kinds of safe teethers so that your baby can find the best teething toy for her.
Why should you avoid plastic teething toys?
As we have mentioned in the previous paragraphs, plastic toys are never safe regardless if they are labeled as such. Many studies were conducted on teething rings and teething toys that were labeled as BPA-free and as it turned out these toys still contained BPA. Furthermore, BPA is not the only harmful chemical that is present in these teethers. Other chemicals like PVC, cadmium and phthalates are just as dangerous as BPA.
What are the effects of BPA, PVC and phthalates?
BPA or bisphenol-A is a known hormone disruptor and some experts even consider it a carcinogen. It has been linked to serious health issues like heart diseases, diabetes and hypertension. BPA is commonly found in hard plastics. While there are many teething toys that are labeled as BPA-free, it is better to stay away from this kind of teether.
PVC or Polyvinyl chloride is one of the world’s most produced plastic polymers. PVC is known to contain heavy metals, lead and chlorine. It is commonly added to other materials to make them soft and pliable.
Phthalates are known as hormone disruptors like BPA or bisphenol-A. This particular chemical is never listed on any product packaging and is often disguised as fragrance.
Are Wooden Teethers Safe?
As long as they’re made of high-quality wood and properly synthesized, wooden teethers are perfectly safe for your baby. Wood is non-toxic, gentle on your baby’s gum, and won’t break on chewing. It also has natural antimicrobial properties.
Many wood types can be used to make wooden teethers, the same as in wooden baby rattles. Examples of those are myrtle, walnut, cherry wood, and alder.
However, the best type of wood to make these teethers is maple. This hardwood is strong and shouldn’t break even when the teether falls on the ground occasionally.
For further safety, ensure that your wooden teether meets the standards of the UKCA.
That’s because the biggest fear with wooden teethers is wood splinters, especially after they fall on the ground. These splinters might lodge into your baby’s gum, resulting in hours of unexplained, painful crying.
So, to sum this up, here are the advantages of wooden teethers over plastic ones:
- Non-Toxic: Wooden teethers are often made from natural hardwoods like maple or birch. These types of wood are hard and durable, but also non-toxic, which means they’re safe for a baby to put in their mouth.
- Sustainability: Wood is a sustainable and eco-friendly choice compared to plastic.
- Durability: Wooden teethers are very durable and can withstand the wear and tear of a teething baby.
- Sensory Development: The hard texture of wood makes it perfect for babies who are cutting new teeth. Plus, the natural variations in wood grain provide interesting sensory experiences for babies.
Our Favorite Wooden Teethers
How to Ensure the Safety of Your Wooden Teether
High-quality wooden teethers are safe, but it’s up to you, as a parent, to maintain that safety. You can do that by doing these simple control measures:
Check for Damage
Whether you’ve seen the teether fall or not, you have to check for damage every day if you can. Regardless of the quality of your wooden teether, constant falls can cause damage.
Wooden teethers’ splinters are small and bothersome. Even if you check your baby’s mouth for any splinters, you may miss some of them because of their small size.
So avoid all of that from the start by checking for damage.
Stop When Needed
Some babies bite harder than others. If you notice that the wooden teether is leaving marked spots inside your baby’s mouth, then it’s best to stop using it.
You should stop using these teethers when your baby is six months old. That’s when your baby gets their first teeth, and these wooden teethers may cause some damage to them.
Delve into the safety of baby teething rings. Equip yourself with knowledge on materials, potential risks, and best practices to ensure your infant’s well-being
FAQS on Are Wooden Teething Toys Safe?
Do wooden teethers splinter?
High-quality wooden teethers made from untreated, smoothly sanded wood are less likely to splinter. However, it is essential to inspect wooden teethers (as well as wooden toys) regularly for any cracks, rough edges, or splintering, and replace them if damaged. However, plastic teethers and other teethers made from synthetic materials can also be damaged.
Can babies chew on wooden teethers?
Yes, babies can chew on wooden teethers. A wooden teething ring will provide a hard surface that can help soothe their sore gums during the teething process. Make sure to choose a teether made from untreated, non-toxic wood and ensure it is clean and in good condition. To ensure you are going chemical free, choose ones with organic cotton attachements.
Are silicone and wood teethers safe?
Food grade Silicone and beech wood teethers are generally considered safe for babies swollen gums if made from non-toxic, BPA-free materials, and meet safety standards and are perfect for teething babies. Always inspect wooden ring teethers for any damage before giving them to your baby and follow the manufacturer’s care and cleaning instructions.
]Wooden teethers also have natural antibacterial properties (like natural rubber) which may make them safe for going in a child’s mouth and they won’t have any potentially harmful chemicals which may be present in some popular baby teethers made from plastic.
Which teether is best for a baby teething: silicone or wooden?
Both silicone and wooden teethers can be suitable for babies, depending on personal preference and individual needs. Silicone teethers are soft, flexible, and easy to clean, while wooden teethers are firm and provide a natural texture. Both types should be made from non-toxic, BPA-free materials and meet safety standards.