Even though your child is the one physically going through it, the teething process can be an absolute nightmare for both babies and parents. We get it — it’s hard to see that your child is angry and in pain — not to mention the fact that they’re also not being quiet about it. You’ll pretty much try anything to help ease their pain, but how do you know what’s safe?
With so many baby teethers on the market, many of which have been recently recalled, it’s hard to keep track of what parents should be aware of when trying to soothe their babies. But don’t worry — our list of the best and safest baby teethers is here to help.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
To find out what parents should consider when finding the best baby teethers, we spoke to Dr. Jonathan L. Wong, D.M.D., for some pointers. First and foremost, he wants you to know that teething is a marathon, not a sprint. After all, once babies begin teething around 5 or 6 months old, they’ll get about a tooth per month until all 20 baby teeth have made their way through the gums. Timing-wise, Wong says that “Teething for each tooth lasts an average of 8 days. Usually, 4 days before the tooth breaks through the gums (some say colloquially ‘the tooth is cut’) and for about 4 days after.”
Taking advice straight from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Wong says you should look for a couple of key factors when shopping for a baby teether or toy. He advises that your baby teether “should be large enough to not be a choking risk, hygienic, and the paint or color should be lead-free.” The ability to get cold is another helpful feature to look for, and just like car seats to strollers, choosing a baby teether that’s washable is critical.
And those amber teething necklaces? Toss them immediately. Wong tells us he’s not a fan of teething rings that go around a child’s neck, noting that “several children die each year from strangulation, so they’re a big no for me. I also do not like beaded chew toys, as the beads can break free and cause aspiration or choking.”
Pick up one of these baby teethers that will ease your child’s pain safely and gently, one tooth at a time.
This is a fantastic teether, crafted out of natural rubber — and that is what many parents are looking for.
However, Wong warns parents to “be aware that natural rubber chew toys are en vogue, but to make sure that their children are not allergic to latex first.” So if you notice that your baby is getting red or itchy after using this, throw it in the bin.
One important thing to note here is that this teether is completely sealed. Wong says that teethers that squeak or can be inflated and deflated often collect saliva and water, causing a mold problem on the inside of the toy.
This BPA-, PVC-, and phthalate-free teether is a hit among parents, with nearly 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. It has multiple surface-area textures, which babies adore, along with an easy-to-hold handle that can be easily affixed to a high-chair tray.
It gets them ready to use a traditional toothbrush while, at the same time, really soothing and stimulating their gums.
We know what you’re thinking: “A dishtowel?” Yes, reader, a dishtowel.
Dr. Wong tells BestProducts.com that “one of the best items that parents report having luck with in our practice is a clean, damp dishtowel straight out of the freezer. You can put their (clean) finger in it, and the child can chew, and the parent can massage at the same time.”