The one thing that’s made me cringe about being a mother is teething. It’s almost as though both of you go through the horrific ordeal, with schedules being thrown off and pain (especially if you’re nursing). With the pain comes the decision: to medicate or not to medicate?
When I was younger, I had what had to be severe ear infections that went undiagnosed for a long period of time. The only way my mother could find to help me feel better was to keep me on a constant dose of Tylenol. Due to that fact, I now have to take slightly higher doses of Ibuprofen or Tylenol in order to have any relief. This had made me wary about giving it freely to my son, even when he’s hurting from teething. In my search for other over-the-counter alternatives, I came across a few, but with not-so-exciting results.
We tried Orajel. It worked, but for only a short period of time, and then there’s the fear of giving too much.
Next we tried teething tablets. Even though these were a more natural approach, I couldn’t say if they did much on the pain side, but they sure were entertaining. Whether it was watching my son foam at the mouth after my failed attempt to get it under his tongue as recommended, or watching him chew the best he could, these seemed more like giving him candy than easing his pain.
Around this time we had dinner over at a friend’s house, whose son is about one year older than mine. He had recently gone through the agony of getting in his molars. It was quite the ordeal, which he ended up at the ER with a spiked temperature. Now, he’s wearing a snazzy necklace made of these yellowish beads. When I asked my friend about it, she said it’s an amber teething necklace. It’s a holistic approach to teething that not only relieves the pain and inflammation of teething, but helps with drooling, lack of appetite and even ear aches! She told me she swears by it. Come to find out, I had quite a few friends who recommended these so I did some research.
According to AmberTeethingNecklaces.org, “amber has been used in a variety of forms as a medicinal treatment for centuries.” It also said that it’s not a stone but a fossilized natural resin, found mainly in the Baltic region of Europe, made into a bead. The amber is said to contain succinic acid, which is “an all-natural anti-inflammatory with antibiotic and pain-relieving properties.”
How it works is even more interesting. The reason it’s made into a necklace (bracelets available as well) is because it’s absorbed through the skin. It says that the baby’s “body heat will warm the fossilized resin and allow the release of naturally-occurring succinic acid. When contact between the teething necklace and skin is maintained, succinic acid is absorbed and the healing, pain-relieving properties begin to take effect.”
I decided to give it a go. I bought one towards the end of my son’s most recent tooth breakthrough, but I feel like it’s helped. He wears it all the time, even in the bath. You can buy them online (I’ve heard they can take up to two weeks to ship), but I was told about a store in Valley West Mall called Little Padded Seats that carried them as well. The staff seemed very knowledgeable and was able to help me choose which would work best for my son.
The cost is around $20, but they can wear it for years. I thought of it this way: as much as I’ve spent on Tylenol or teething tablets, I’m sure by this point I’ve already spent that much at least! So if you’re looking for alternatives to over-the-counter analgesics, I (and many of my friends) recommend an amber teething necklace. For more information, I recommend the site I mentioned above, AmberTeethingNecklaces.org.