Aunt Mandy gave Bug a fun, new gift called Chewy Tubes. They are considered a therapy item called “oral motor devices”. They help people develop their jaw muscles for biting, chewing, and even talking. (Aunt Mandy is studying speech therapy for her graduate degree at Loyola University, which is how she found the chewy tubes.) They have been used with autistic children for sensory input. The speech community is a little divided about the tubes being a legitimate speech therapy, and I don’t know enough about it to have an opinion. What I do know is Bug loves them because they are helping him teethe!
The tubes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and strengths. They’re made of a thermo-elastic polymer that is FDA approved, nontoxic, and is lead, latex, PVC, and phthalates free. Kids needs to be supervised while using them, as you can imagine the gagging and choking hazards if they shove the tubes too far back in their mouths. Proper use involves putting the longer part of the tube in the side of the mouth, between the top and bottom gums (or teeth if you have them, hehe). You can wash them with soap and water or put them in the dishwasher. (You can learn more about them at the official website.)
Annnnd here’s Bug!