In the realm of parenthood, the safety of our children is a topmost priority. As babies begin to teethe, parents scramble to find suitable objects that will soothe their little ones’ gums.
Among the array of choices, wooden baby teethers have piqued the interest of many. But the question lingers: Are wooden teethers safe?
In this article, we delve into the features, benefits, and safety precautions of using wooden teethers, demystifying the topic for anxious parents. Tune in as we explore the world of wooden teethers, their safety, and their contribution to sustainable parenting.
In a nutshell, wooden teethers are safe for your baby as long as you purchase high-quality products.
All you have to do to maintain that safety is to keep them clean and check for damage daily.
Also, to ensure the maximum safety for your baby, check their gum from time to time to ensure that the wooden teethers aren’t leaving any marks.
The Amazing benefits of wooden teething include they are made from non toxic materials, are naturally antibacterial and are environmentally friendly.
Baby Teethers: An Overview
Baby teethers are small toy-like appliances primarily made to make the teething process a little more bearable for your baby.
Let’s think for a second. When a part of your body hurts you, your first instinct would be to apply some pressure on that part. That’s because pressure can relieve pain by taking some sensation away from the nerve endings.
So, the idea was that we needed something that your baby could constantly bite on. However, that something should also be gentle to avoid harming your baby’s soft gum. That’s how the idea of baby teethers came to life.
What Are Teething Toys Used For
Teething toys are primarily used as a tool to reduce pain while teething. But they also serve other benefits:
Provide Gum Massage
Our gums need to be constantly massaged to stay healthy. Massage promotes blood circulation in the massaged part and helps in wound healing.
Adults get that massage from eating solid foods, but babies don’t have that option in early life. That’s why teethers are excellent tools to provide that.
Distract Your Baby
Babies discover the world using their mouths. Since they don’t know how to move around yet, they often end up sucking their thumbs, which could have harmful effects in the long run.
Teething toys are great alternatives to that bad habit.
Help in Teeth Emerging
When your baby approaches the six-month mark, the first tooth will start to emerge. That process happens by thinning the gum over the erupting tooth.
Teething toys aid in that process by thinning the gum just a bit faster.
Materials Used in Making Teethers
Plastic and wood are the most common materials used to make teethers. Plastic might initially seem like a safer option, but it’s not.
Most plastic products contain the harmful BPA (Bisphenol – A), which can be toxic to humans. Additionally, constant chewing may tear parts of that plastic. Your baby might choke on the torn pieces if they accidentally swallow them.
So, wooden teethers are our best option. But are they safe?
Are Wooden Teething Rings 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.
How to Clean Wooden Teethers
Cleaning wooden teethers is relatively straightforward, but it’s important to do it correctly to avoid damaging the wood or creating a breeding ground for bacteria. Here’s how you can clean them:
White Vinegar (optional)
Beeswax or coconut oil (optional)
Preparation: Begin by gathering your supplies. Make sure your sink is clean before you start.
Soak: Fill a bowl with warm water and add a couple of drops of mild soap. Stir until it’s well mixed. Soak the wooden teething ring in the soapy water for about 10 minutes.
Scrub: Using a soft cloth, gently scrub the teether to remove any visible dirt or grime. Be sure to scrub all areas, including any crevices or engraved parts, the same as wooden toys.
Rinse: Rinse the teether under warm water to remove the soap. Make sure all soap residue is gone as it can make the teether taste bad and may not be safe for the baby to ingest.
Dry: Pat the teether dry with a clean towel and then let it air dry completely. It’s important that the teether is thoroughly dry to prevent mold growth.
Sanitize: If you want to sanitize the teether, you can wipe it down with a cloth dampened with white vinegar and then let it dry again. This step is optional and usually only necessary if the teether has been dropped in a public place or if your baby has been sick.
Condition: If the wood starts to look dry or dull, you can apply a small amount of beeswax or coconut oil to condition the wood and keep it from cracking. Be sure to let the oil or wax soak in and dry before giving the teether back to your baby.
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.