Chewable Jewelry for Kids with Sensory Needs

For a long time, my son walked around wearing wet shirts with droopy, baggy sleeves. His collar was always in his mouth, unless he had a shirt sleeve in there. Once his shirt was soaked through, he’d seek out other things to stick in his mouth: coins, craft sticks at school, rocks even.heartreese.jpg

Our dentist observed that my son had ground his teeth down to flat little squares.


I got an exasperated phone call from preschool letting me know that he had eaten most of his rest mat. Just chewed right on through the canvas outer layer and started gnawing on the foam within.

My son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, which in a nutshell means that his brain doesn’t process sensory input in a typical way. He has intense needs to chew. Constantly. He’s not being naughty or somehow defiant when he munches his rest mat–he is filling a neurological need for intense oral stimulation.

At home, we eventually turned to gum. But he burns through so much gum this became cost prohibitive. Plus, he couldn’t chew the gum at preschool. We needed to find something else.

We found a wonderful occupational therapist to work with him on different strategies for sensory integration (ways to meet his needs without turning to behaviors like damaging property or clothing!) and she first suggested these jiggling facial massagers. We ordered the kangaroo and parrot set, and my son named them Happy and Ouch.

Again, at home he relies heavily on these tools. He seems to use Happy and Ouch for different purposes, but I notice him immediately become calmer, less agitated when he’s gnawing on one of them. How telling that he picked Happy as a name for his tool!

We still needed a solution for public places and preschool, however. Happy and Ouch are far from discreet and I could tell my son felt self-conscious about bringing them along with him.

Enter: chewable silicone jewelry. There are so many choices, from owl pendants to bangles.

We’ve got the robot pendant, except my son took it off the string and just keeps it in his pocket. This way, when he really needs to gnaw, he can wedge the entire thing into his mouth. There’s just something about the deep pressure of clenching down on the silicone that calms him. The robot works just as well as the gum or Happy for us.

I should mention that the manufacturer advises this pendant is for kids aged 3 and up and I’m sure they would advise against letting a kiddo put the entire thing in his mouth!

Of course, not all children who gnaw have Sensory Processing Disorder. Some kids just stick stuff in their mouths. But if you’re a parent perpetually frustrated by sopping wet shirts, noticing the ends chewed off scooter handles, or find yourself saying, “Stop chewing on the forks!” you might consider some of this jewelry for your kiddo to try.

The silicone is BPA free, food-safe, and sturdy enough that I haven’t yet noticed a tooth mark in the surface. Considering my son ate a rest mat, we’re very happy with the durability of his robot pendant!

Does your child have oral sensory needs? Leave us a comment to share some solutions that worked for your family. 

1 comment to Chewable Jewelry for Kids with Sensory Needs

  • I totally agree, my kids call them sparkie and munch munch i know right totally cute :) i got them the baltic amber teething necklaces for their 5, 6th birthdays and omg their chewing habits are so much better now, i can totally relate to your story and insight my kids were (before i got them their chewing necklaces) totally gnawing on anything they found like cute little bunnies oh! i am relieved now, though i found about chewable pendants and necklaces from my friends i wish i had seen your article earlier. Well everything has its place in time i suppose, keep up your work this will help a lot of parents solve their children’s gnawing :)

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