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Amber Teething Necklace - Do they work?


amber teething necklace

Hi Dr. Gordon!  I belong to a "moms group" on Facebook and several mothers swear by these amber teething necklaces.  Instantly I couldn't fathom putting something on my baby's neck, but after so many "success stories" where their babies seem less effected by teething, I started getting curious.  These necklaces claim that the succinic acid is a natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory and so when the baby wears the necklace, the warmth of their skin releases the succinic acid from the baltic amber.  I doubt I can get over the fear of having something on my baby's neck, but found the use of these necklaces interesting and I wondered what pediatricians thought of these.  So, I decided to email my favorite, trusted pediatrician :).

Great question. Amber bead necklaces are typically worn to help with teething pain. In our office, I have seen amber bead necklaces frequently over the last 2 to 3 years. When asked, parents (of children wearing these necklaces) will either chuckle at the question or provide a testimonial of their child’s success with amber beads.

One of the reason’s I have enjoyed my website is that is gives me a reason to sit down and research some of the “smaller” parenting issues. Often I learn a lot. Unfortunately, when I sat down to review the hard core scientific facts surrounding amber beads, I found none. I found lots of testimonials and multiple websites stating they had review the “research”. But I was unable to find any scientific studies on safety, side effects, mechanism of action or effectiveness of amber beads.

Overall, I think of amber beads as a harmless trend. I do agree with opponents that they do pose a minor choking and strangulation risk. In light of a complete lack of evidence regarding safety or benefit, I cannot recommend them.

 

 

Written May 2013 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician

 

 

 

 

 

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