We are so delighted to bring an expanding range of chewable jewellery to Australian families however we understand that while it is great to have lots of choices it can be overwhelming trying to decide which chew suits you. To help with this we have put together some tips to guide you to the product that is most likely to fit your needs.
- Decide what function you would like your new addition to provide.
Are you aiming to satisfy oral sensory seeking behaviour, trying to sooth swollen teething gums or simply bring a smile to a little girls face?
If you are buying a piece that is to simply wear and enjoy as a soft, safe, hardy addition to your little girls dress up wardrobe then go wild and choose what she loves.
If you are buying something to heat or cool to sooth little gums then the chewable shapes or necklaces for mummy to wear will be the most appropriate choice.
- Consider the age and level of enthusiasm of the chewer,
If you are buying for a young child you should always consider safety first, necklaces with small parts can be a choking hazard so we recommend items with pieces over 3cm for all children under 3 years of age. For young children it is also a good idea to consider the weight of the piece, if it is to large and heavy it may be uncomfortable. In this situation you may be better off choosing something that you can wear while your little one enjoys chewing on it.
If your child is older (as is often the case for ASD children) consider what kind of chewer they are? Are they a voracious heavy chewer or are they a little less enthusiastic or somewhere in between. We have organised all of our pendants into Heavy, Medium and Light chewer categories under the What Chew tab in the main menu to help you choose the shape and weight that will best suite you.
As a general rule though if you are buying for a heavy chewer who is likely to break off any small parts that poke out you will do better with a round shape like the circle or angle tear pendants.
- Consider what the chewer is looking for or likes.
The larger tougher beads and shapes may last longer and give stronger feed back when you bite down on them but is that what you need from the chew? Smaller beads and in particular the rectangular prism beads and tube are very springy and softer than the larger shapes they provide a totally different feeling and feed back when they are chewed. My 7 year old ASD chewer prefers these springy beads to hard shapes so even though they don’t last as long they are what he needs so they are what he uses.
- Do you need to combine textures?
To figure out what types of beads and pendant you are after it can be helpful to start with something that has more than one size and hardness for example the shark pendant with blue beads the shark is hard and large but the blue beads can be rolled around in the mouth or pushed up between the back teeth. Being able to roll the beads in the mouth provides tongue and cheek exercise in a way that the shark on its own does not.
If you would like to ask our advice or need any help please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be more than happy to help. We also have a test pilot page which is being constantly updated as we test our products on our own children 🙂