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Issues & People Miscellaneous Pediatric Dentistry Professional Issues

FDA Safety Commission Warns Against the Use of Teething Necklaces and Jewellery

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The American Food and Drug Assocaition’s (FDA) Safety Commission does not support the use of teething necklaces, bracelets, and other jewellery worn by a child

The American Food and Drug Assocaition’s (FDA) Safety Commission does not support the use of teething necklaces, bracelets, and other jewellery worn by a child (or caregiver) to relieve teething pain or to provide sensory stimulation to persons with disabilities.

Adverse events including choking, strangulation, mouth injury, infections, and death caused by teething jewellery have been reported to the FDA. Choking can occur if the jewellery breaks and small pieces or beads block the airway. Strangulation can be caused by the necklace getting caught in a crib or wrapping too tightly around the neck. Infection or gum irritation can result from sensitivity to the jewellery itself or punctures to the gums. 

The FDA Recommends Healthcare Providers:

  • Talk with parents and caregivers about safe ways to reduce teething pain while communicating the risks and benefits of available treatments.
  • Discourage the use of necklaces, bracelets, and other jewellery for relieving pain and/or providing sensory stimulation to people with disabilities.

Additional Unsafe Teething Devices to Avoid

  • Health Canada and the FDA do not recommend using necklaces and other jewellery to prevent or reduce teething pain.
  • The Canadian Dental Association(CDA) does not recommend using teething remedies, such as gels which can numb a baby’s throat making it difficult for them to swallow.
  • The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA)does not recommend teething creams and benzocaine gels, sprays, ointments, solutions, lozenges, and other local anesthetics for infants and children under 2-years of age as they can cause life-threatening methemoglobinemia, reducing the amount of oxygen carried through the blood.

Helping Patients with Teething Babies

Talk with your patients about how to safely ease pain and increase their baby’s comfort during the teething process by:

  • Using a clean finger (or cold teething ring) to gently rub the gums for about 2-minutes at a time to sooth them.
  • Identifying safe objects that babies can chew on, like teething rings. 
  • Making sure the teething ring is not frozen or too hard for the child’s gums.
  • Encouraging parents and caregivers to supervise the child while they use teething devices.
  • Encourage parents to follow the Canadian Dental Association’s Your Child’s First Visit guidelines.
  • Discussing safe, over-the-counter pain relievers that are appropriate for the child’s age and how to read and follow the instructions. *Aspirin has been linked to Reye syndrome. Do not give Aspirin to anyone under age 18. 

Helping Dentists to Support Patients with Teething Children

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

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