Amber Teething Necklaces … fact or fancy fiction?

by Tilly Thyme on June 25, 2010

As my fifteen month old chomps and drools continuously on just about any object her tiny fist can jam into her mouth, I ponder ways to soothe her sore gums as the teething process goes on …

and on …

and on …

Just this morning, I searched in the recesses of my mind to recall when my son finally stopped awakening at midnight from teething pain, but long term memory is the first thing to go once you have a second child.  I did, however, remember seeing something … somewhere … some time ago … about amber teething necklaces and bracelets.  My brilliant MacBook Pro readily directed me to various sites that herald the mysterious healing powers of amber.

“Since time began,” starts one such site, “the beauty and mystery of Baltic amber has been both a fascination and an inspiration to all who become familiar with it”  (  “Comprised of Baltic amber beads, amber teething necklaces are designed to be worn by infants and toddlers when they are teething. They are worn around the child’s neck or as a bracelet and cannot be chewed on.  Baltic amber is a natural resin, not a gem or stone. Its key ingredient, succinic acid, enables the amber to warm to the body’s natural temperature whereupon it releases it healing and pain relieving oils. Easily absorbed into the skin, the amber then continues its passage into the blood stream where it provides the child’s own immune system and provides calm and peace.”

Though I have major doubts about this (hello – choking hazard, anyone?), I may just have to purchase a strand of delicate amber for my daughter.  Come to think of it, I could even be tempted to get a “Mums n Bubs” set (one for her, one for me) simply because I like saying “Mums n Bubs.”

I’ll report back on said healing properties.  If you’ve tried amber as an alternative form of healing, do chime in.  I’d love to hear what you have to say.

*** Update, October 2011:  When I originally wrote this post back in June of 2010, few articles by experts existed on the subject.  Today experts and bloggers weigh in on whether amber teething necklaces work.

Dr. Andrew Weil, for example, notes that amber necklaces are not backed up by modern science and could pose a choking hazard for infants.  His colleague offers the following remedy for teething pain:  “frozen chamomile tea. Preparation is simple: steep 2 teabags in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Take out the teabags, add 1/4 cup apple or grape juice and freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. Then put a couple of the ice cubes in a handkerchief, tie a big knot around them, and let the babies gnaw or suck on them.”

I never did end up buying an amber necklace for my daughter.  My doubts won over, and I stuck with the old-fashioned remedies also suggested by Dr. Weil, such as “rubbing the child’s gums with a clean finger or letting the baby chew on a wet washcloth placed in the freezer for 30 minutes (wash after each use). You could also rub the baby’s gums with a cool spoon. Or try a rubber teething ring – just be sure to take it out of the freezer before it gets so hard that it bruises the tender gums.”

Have you had a different experience with amber teething necklaces?  Do you disagree with Dr. Weil and other naysayers?  Speak up and let us know.

Happy Teething!

{ 1 comment }

Princepessa June 25, 2010 at 11:27 am

Let me know how this works for Ta:) I may invest in a braclet for JC if it works:)

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