Tuesday, April 28, 2015

News You Can Use - Teething Beads


Extra disclaimer - I am not a doctor or a scientist. All information shared should in the context of me presenting newly gathered knowledge and not as a strict guideline for how to raise a child.

I do a weekly preschool class that follows a baby storytime lead by another staff member. I keep seeing beaded amber necklaces on my Storytime little ones. After spying my third infant with beaded jewelry I started to wonder what was going on.  As a self proclaimed nosey parker I just flat asked people if these necklaces the latest baby accessory. Parents tell me the oils help soothe teething pain. Is this a fad? It sounded a bit dubious.

Here's the scoop,
Teething necklaces have been used by parents for centuries, especially in the Baltic region of Europe from which the most effective form of the resin originates. While these parents may not have known how or why these baubles helped to relieve the pain, drooling, inflammation and irritability that their children experienced as new teeth broke through the surface of the gums, they did realize that the treatment was effective. Modern parents who hope to alleviate these difficult symptoms for their own children without resorting to over-the-counter topical analgesic gels filled with synthetic chemicals are helping amber teething necklaces to enjoy a resurgence in popularity. Thanks to today’s scientific advances, however, it is possible to understand exactly how and why a teething necklace made from amber can make the process of teething easier for your child. (Amber)
Baltic amber contains Succinic Acid.  When the beaded necklaces are worn against the skin, a tiny amount of oil that contains succinic acid is released because of body heat. When the oil is absorbed, fans of these beads say it has an analgesic effect on swollen, sore gums. Because the succinic acid is naturally occurring in both the amber and the human body, this method of pain relief is thought to be more natural. (WhatToExpect)

You can visit Amber Teething Necklace, a site that sells the beads as well as providing more information about how the amber soothes the teething process.  Talking to people about this idea lead to a variety of perspectives.  Many parents say they have used the beads with positive and noticeable effects. While other parents didn't see a change in their child's teething pain when wearing the necklace. People with or without children felt the beads were a hazard since infants could swallow and choke on them, or that the  necklaces  could  strangle a baby.  Adults also stated they knew it would just be a placebo effect but would  continue using the beads.  Its possible that this is a fad that will ebb and flow like other child-rearing trends. 

To be safe, children wearing the necklaces should always be supervised.  Necklaces should have quick release or tear away style closures to prevent a child from becoming trapped. Beads should be removed at naptime and bedtime, or the beads should be placed around the infant's ankle to limit the chance of entrapment. Necklaces should have knots between each bead to ensure the entire strand does not come apart, leading to a child ingesting the beads.  Be sure to buy a necklaces from a reputable sources and when in doubt, discuss this choice with your doctor.  Remember that other sources of pain relief may be available for the child. (ACCC)

Further Reading :


  1. No one I knew or saw was using these when you were a babe, and that was in California. Who knew?

    1. My guess it this will fade away and then come back around on the guitar later.