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FDA: Don’t use teething jewelry to relieve pain

December 20, 2018

Silver Spring, Md. — The U.S. Food & Drug Administration on Dec. 20 issued a warning against the use of jewelry that is marketed to relieve an infant’s teething pain.

“The FDA has received reports of death and serious injuries to infants and children, including strangulation and choking, caused by necklaces and bracelets often marketed for relieving teething pain,” according to a FDA notice.

The FDA warns that parents and other caregivers may use these products to help relieve teething pain or to provide sensory stimulation in people with special needs. Teething jewelry, according to the FDA, is made with various materials, including amber, wood, marble or silicone.

However, the risks of using teething jewelry include choking, strangulation, injuries in the mouth and infection, the FDA said in a news release. In addition, choking may occur if the jewelry breaks and small beads or the whole piece of jewelry enter the child’s throat or airway. According to the FDA, it received a report of a 7-month-old child who choked on the beads of a wooden teething bracelet while under parental supervision, and an 18-month-old child who died after getting strangled by his amber teething necklace during a nap.

The FDA recommends that dentists and health care providers talk to parents or caregivers about safe ways to reduce teething pain, including the benefits and risks of available treatment options. The FDA also recommends discouraging the use of teething jewelry for relieving teething pain and for providing sensory stimulation to people with special needs.

The ADA offers teething relief advice on MouthHealthy.org, the Association’s consumer website.