Kitsap Kid's Dentistry

Teething Rings for Babies: Are they Safe?

While your baby getting their first teeth might be an exciting moment of parenthood, the process can be very uncomfortable for your baby. Teething usually begins between the ages of four and seven months and can be a painful process. While a teething ring can help soothe your little one, it must be used properly to keep your child’s emerging smile healthy.

WHAT IS A TEETHING RING?

The teething process can cause swelling and tenderness in the gums. Consequently,  your child may drool, refuse food, become irritable, have trouble sleeping, and bite into hard objects. A teething ring is a teething toy designed to be easy for a baby to pick up and chew. The pressure from chewing can help soothe sore gums.

HOW CAN I KEEP A TEETHING RING SAFE FOR MY BABY TO USE?

Teething rings are safe, but there are some things that can go wrong if they are not used properly. Here are some tips to protect your child’s teeth:

  • Don’t freeze a teething ring: While keeping the teething ring cool can help  soothe your child, keeping it frozen can bruise their sensitive gums. Store the teething ring in the refrigerator rather than the freezer.
  • Supervise your child: Keep an eye on the baby while they use their teething ring. Do not tie the ring around the child’s neck to keep it within reach, as this can cause choking or strangulation.
  • Choose the right model: While teething rings come in many materials like plastic and silicone, models filled with liquid can break over the course of vigorous chewing. This can release the foreign fluid into the baby’s mouth. Plastic rings that can be easily broken or have small parts like rattles represent a choking hazard for your infant.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER WAYS To EASE THE TEETHING PROCESS?

There are more ways to help soothe a teething baby than teething rings. Try gently rubbing your child’s gums with a freshly cleaned cool washcloth or finger. If your baby is eating solids, soft foods like applesauce can be easy on your baby’s sensitive gums. If you want to use a bottle, remember to only fill it with a little water, and only after your baby is six months old.

While teething may not be the most comfortable experience for your child, teething toys can help relieve their distress. If you have any further concerns, consult with Dr. Banks by calling our office. By taking care of your child’s developing mouth, you can help set them up for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.