The warm glow of Baltic amber is attractive, enticing, and increasingly common to see on the necks of teething infants and toddlers. People claim that when the necklace is warmed by the baby’s skin, the amber releases a pain-relieving chemical that is then absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. Although some parents swear by them, there’s no medical evidence that these necklaces reduce teething pain. What’s more, any necklace worn by a child poses a real choking and strangulation hazard – and if the necklace breaks, the child can swallow parts or all of the necklace.
So, the real problem for parents to solve is how to relieve the very real pain of teething!
- Massage – rubbing the gums with a clean finger can feel marvelous to a teething child.
- Cold – a damp face cloth, twisted and frozen, or water-filled teething ring reduces the pain.
- Pressure – rubber teething rings relieve symptoms.
- Analgesic – acetaminophen (all ages) or ibuprofen (when child is over 6 months of age) can also help. Pain-relieving gels that contain benzocaine should not be used, as they can cause a dangerous condition that affects oxygen in the bloodstream.
If you need more help with teething problems, ask your pediatric provider for advice.
About Jocelyne Durrenberger, DNP
A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Bentley College and Regis College, Jocelyne Durrenberger has been caring for patients as a nurse practitioner for over 20 years. Originally a mechanical engineer, Jocelyne decided to enter medicine after being inspired by a friend who is a nurse practitioner. “Although I loved the challenges of engineering, I kept hearing the call to practice medicine.” she explains. “Now I find it...View profile View posts by this doctor