The teething phase can be difficult for both infants and their parents. Pain from growing teeth protruding through babies’ sensitive gums can cause irritability, loss of sleep and even stomach issues for some infants. You may be tempted to give your baby a teething ring to help ease the pain, but you may want to think twice. Here’s why.

Possibly Toxic Chemicals

Unless the teether you purchase for your baby specifically says BPA-free, the chances are that it does indeed contain the toxic chemical. BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that has been banned from use in baby bottles and drinking cups but is still commonly found in other baby products. According to a study done in 2016, many teethers labeled BPA-free tested positive for the chemical. To assure your baby isn’t chewing on something that contains this toxic chemical or others, it’s best to avoid all plastic teethers.

Leaking Liquid

Plastic teethers often contain a liquid that allows you to freeze it before you give it to your child. A damaged teether could leak and get into your baby’s mouth. Although this liquid is usually made from salt water, it sometimes contains glycerin and other unknown chemicals. If the teether contains BPA, it can leak into the liquid as well.

Choking Hazard

Since plastic from teethers can be ripped or damaged, particles of it could be swallowed by your baby, leading to a potential choking hazard. Besides teethers, teething jewelry has also become popular in recent years, and these also pose a choking hazard when beads or fasteners become loose. The FDA advises against the use of any teething jewelry for infants or toddlers.

Instead of using teethers or teething jewelry, talk to your pediatrician or dentist about safer alternatives. If you have any questions about your infant’s developing teeth, contact us at Huntingdon Valley Dental Arts to make an appointment with either Dr. Zola Makrauer or Dr. Julie Miller today.