A teething ring is a baby product used to soothe the gums of a teething baby. When babies begin to get teeth, this change in their bodies is not without discomfort. As the teeth break through the tender gums, a baby may experience pain, discomfort, itching or throbbing. Teething devices simply provide something that a baby can gnaw or rub against his gums to help relieve the unpleasant sensations. Besides helping to soothe tender gums, they also provide a bit of enjoyment for babies who like to have something they can hold in their hands and put in their mouths.
A shopping trip for teething rings will typically provide many different choices. One of the most important things for a parent to do when shopping for one is to read the package and make sure a particular choice is safe for babies. This means that it doesn't have any small parts that could break off and become a choking hazard and that it is made of non-toxic materials. In the United States, all baby products are supposed to be free of toxic materials like lead, but it is wise to double-check packaging to be on the safe side.
Many rings are made of rubber that is firm enough to stand up to a baby's gnawing yet pliable enough to yield a bit and not cause further discomfort. Some of them are smooth while others have bumps and lumps that may help to further soothe gums. Often, they are designed to be placed in the refrigerator because a cold object may provide even more comfort to a baby.
Some teething rings may be placed in the freezer for a period of time before giving them to babies, but it's best to take them out of the freezer before they are frozen solid. While it may seem that having an ice-cold object applied to the gums will provide comfort, letting the ring become rock hard may actually do more damage than good. It can bruise swollen, tender gums.
Some people prefer to buy sterling silver teething rings for their babies. This type may be easier to chill, but it is more expensive than other models. Rubber rings may be softer and gentler on tender gums, and they are also less costly. Plastic is also less expensive and considered safe, although some people have concerns about the potential effects of allowing babies to chew on these products.