Gum stimulators or nipples are instruments that help the teething process of babies is more bearable and not so frustrating, both for them and for parents.However, these types of articles are not always made with materials free of toxic substances . And this is very important to take into account, since your baby is just developing and does not have the necessary defenses to properly metabolize these elements.
One way to protect your baby is to know the most innocuous materials with which the gum stimulators must be made.
What are the stimulators of gums for?
Gum stimulators or nipples are instruments that desensitize the baby’s mouth. Its purpose is to prepare the child for the introduction of other oral cleaning utensils in the future . They can be used from three months until your first teething. Similarly, the so-called silicone thimbles can be very useful.
All these items are very helpful as they relieve the itching caused by the eruption of primary teeth, the so-called milk teeth.
Why is it important to consider the use of gum stimulators? First of all, you should know that the teething process lasts from 6 months to 2 and a half years of life of the child . During this period, babies may experience two or more of the following symptoms:
- Swollen gums.
- Drool more than normal (hypersalivation).
- Some fever (38ºC).
- Lack of appetite.
- Redness or irritation in the cheeks.
Items like teething rings and silicone thimbles help relieve the intense pain babies feel in the area of tooth eruption .
However, since these objects are in direct contact with the child’s mouth and, therefore, with their digestive system, it is vital to take care that the materials with which they are made are not harmful to their health .
Silicone is a polymer resistant to heat, with low chemical reactivity and low toxicity . In addition, this substance is not compatible with microbiological growth. Does not absorb water or odors. For these reasons, silicone is often used in kitchen utensils, toys and baby products.
Unlike latex, it has the disadvantage of being less elastic. Therefore, the gum biters or stimulators break. This is why they have a much shorter lifespan.
Although not so common, sometimes wood is used in baby teethers. This is because in its structure and composition, there is no harmful component .
However, it must be ensured that the wood has not been treated with toxic varnishes or paints. Also, the teethers should be cleaned perfectly to avoid risks.
This product is a natural and elastic brown rubber. It does not contain toxic chemicals or contaminants . Therefore, it is considered as one of the purest materials.
This material also adapts to the baby’s mouth, since it is soft and of pleasant texture. On the other hand, it is an extremely flexible material. It can resist the bites and jerks typical of the teething period .
However, latex has some drawbacks: it preserves odors, deteriorates faster than silicone and easily gets dirty. Also, before using instruments with this material, you should check that your child is not allergic to latex . Try to perform this test, otherwise, its use may be counterproductive.
It is one of the safest and most versatile plastics . In fact, it is considered an ecological plastic. In addition to its resistance to corrosion, it is odorless, sterilizable and non-toxic.
It is usually used in the toy industry, food containers, medicines, chemical products, among other items for its safety. Currently, it has become one of the substitutes for Bisphenol-A in the manufacture of baby bottles .
You can also find gum stimulators made with harmless materials on the market, such as cotton, natural and organic wood, organic flax oil or synthetic materials such as thermoplastic rubber and elastomers (TPE).
Materials not recommended
It is a chemical substance found in polycarbonates. This material was used for a long time in the manufacture of baby bottles, for its resistance to heat and transparency.
However, there are studies that show that BPA is an endocrine disruptor capable of altering hormonal and genetic functions . As a result, since 2011, the European Union has banned the commercialization of baby bottles made with BPA (Directive number 2011/8 / EU).
The Phthalates are chemicals that are added to plastics to increase their flexibility. They are regularly found in plastic products made of PVC.
However, some classes of this material have been classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic . As a result, its use has been completely ruled out.
Currently, amber necklaces have become a popular remedy during teething of small children. Supposedly, they contain small amounts of succinic acid, which has an analgesic effect.
However, there is no scientific information in this regard that verifies these properties . In fact, specialists make an attentive call, both to doctors and parents, to assess the risks involved in the use of amber necklaces. For what reason? This is due to the high odds of strangulation and suffocation in small children.
Although the final decision is made by parents, it is important to avoid unnecessary risks and look for safe alternatives for the child . In the case of amber necklaces, the alleged relief provided to the baby can not be compared with the consequences in case of an accident.
As you can see, it is very important to be aware of everything your little one puts in his mouth . Above all, make informed decisions regarding the purchase of products for their hygiene.
And remember, if you need guidance to treat your baby’s teething symptoms, do not hesitate to visit the pediatrician . The best you can do is put your treasure in the hands of experts.