How Safe Are Teething Rings?

December 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — hifivekidsdent @ 8:38 pm
Smiling baby

Teething is a big milestone on the path of growing up, but the process can cause a child a lot of discomfort. Teething usually begins when a baby is between four and seven months old as the primary teeth begin erupting from the gums. Many parents turn to teething rings and other toys to soothe their little one, but do these playthings carry any risks? Here’s how to safely use teething rings so your child’s smile can come in beautifully.

How Do Teething Rings Work?

The teething process can be stressful on the gums, leading to symptoms such as swelling, drooling, irritability, trouble sleeping, and rejecting food. Many children will take to gnawing on hard objects to exercise the irritated tissue and help the teeth work themselves out more quickly, so it’s not uncommon for parents to give their children teething rings. These toys are designed for babies to hold and chew upon to help soothe their distressed gums, but they can lead to bite issues if they are misused.

Are Teething Rings Safe?

The good news is that teething rings are perfectly safe if used properly. A few things to remember when giving your child a teething ring include:

  • Don’t let it get too cold: A cool teething ring is like an ice pack for sore gums, but letting the toy become excessively cold or completely frozen can make it harsh on them. When chilling a teething ring, keep it in the refrigerator rather than the freezer to avoid bruising your child’s gums.
  • Don’t tie the ring to your baby: While it might seem like a good idea to tie the teething ring to your child to prevent them from losing it, this can lead to choking or strangulation. Don’t tie the ring to your child and keep an eye on your little one when they’re using it.
  • The right material makes all the difference: Teething rings can be made from a variety of materials such as plastic or silicone, but steer clear of the ones that are filled with liquid. Liquid-filled rings can break as your child chews on them, causing foreign fluids to be released into your child’s mouth. Cheap materials can also break and splinter, becoming a choking hazard. Avoid models that have small parts like decorations or rattles, as these can easily break off from the toy and be swallowed.

How Else Can I Help My Child Stay Comfortable?

Teething rings aren’t the only way to soothe a teething baby. A few other methods of doing so include:

  • Massage the gums with a clean finger or cool washcloth. Take care to clean the washcloth after each use.
  • Feed your child cool, soft foods like applesauce to help soothe the gums.
  • Give your child a bottle filled with water.

While teething can certainly be a stressful time for you and your baby, there are ways to ease this necessary stage of life. By keeping these teething ring safety tips in mind, you can help ensure that your child’s teeth come in to be straight and healthy.

About the Author

Dr. Maria Murad earned her dental degree at the University of Detroit Mercy and completed her specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center. She is proud to be a member of the Canadian and American Academies of Pediatric Dentistry, the Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Ontario Dental Association. Her office in Pickering, ON offers pediatric general, restorative, and emergency dentistry as well as orthodontics. For more information on using teething rings safely, contact her office online or dial (289) 302-6065.

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