‘Chewelry’ is jewellery you can chew. It provides oral sensory input for children and adults who experience neurodiversity in various forms, including Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).
This article looks at the different types of chewelry available, including sensory chew necklaces, bracelets, pencil toppers, and hand-held sensory chew toys. We also discuss why people use chewelry and the benefits of sensory chew toys for Autism, ADHD, SPD, and neurodivergent children and adults.
What are the different types of Chewelry?
Chewelry is usually made from non-toxic food-safe silicone or braided cotton fabric. It can be bold and bright or muted and discreet. Various colours, styles, and textures are available to suit different personalities and sensory needs.
Chewelry is designed to look like regular jewellery. Types of chewelry include:
- Beaded silicone chew necklaces
- Pendant silicone chew necklaces
- Chew bracelets
- Braided fabric sensory chew necklaces
- Braided fabric sensory chew bracelets
Other sensory chew toys available include pencil toppers and hand-held chew toys. Here are five things to consider when choosing chewelry for someone.
- How old is the person who will use the chewelry? Chewelry is suitable for ages five and up. Sensory chew toys like pencil toppers are another great option for school-aged children. Chewelry for adults comes in a range of stylish colours and designs.
- Do they chew with their front or back teeth? For back teeth chewers, look for a long, slender piece of chewelry. Front teeth chewers can manage any shape. If unsure, the long, slender option is universal for all chewing needs.
- How intensely does the person chew? As well as different designs, chewelry also comes in different densities to meet individual chewing needs. Density categories cater to light, moderate, avid, and aggressive chewers.
- What are their texture preferences? Smooth chewelry is suitable for those who are sensitive, while textured chewelry works well for sensory seekers and those with low oral awareness.
- Can the person handle wearing something around their neck? In addition to chew necklaces, chew bracelets made with silicone beads or braided fabric are available for those who don’t like the sensation of a necklace cord. Alternatively, you can use a retractable lanyard that clips to clothing.
How does Chewelry help to soothe?
Before we look at how chewelry soothes, we must understand why children and adults might rely on or require a piece of chewelry.
- Stress and anxiety are the most common reasons children and adults use sensory chew toys.
- Chewelry is also particularly helpful for concentration and focus, especially for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum or those who experience ADHD.
- People with sensory issues may find their surroundings to be overwhelming at times. Chewing is a form of stimming – a repetitive behaviour that can help create a sense of calm and manage sensory overload.
Sensory chew toys and chewelry provide oral input and increase body awareness, also known as proprioception. Proprioceptive input reduces the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for triggering the ‘fight or flight response.’ It turns off the stress response and empowers the adult or child to manage their emotions and self-soothe.
Other benefits of chewelry include:
- Reducing destructive chewing behaviours by using safe and appropriate sensory chew toys that divert attention from potentially dangerous items.
- Increased focus and concentration through proprioceptive input leads to improved skills and information retention.
- Developing stronger oral motor skills, including tongue coordination and jaw and lip closure, to improve speech, eating, and drinking skills.
- Exposing children and adults to a variety of textures and potentially minimising food aversions.
Chewelry for adults
It is important that adults who need chewelry find pieces they can feel comfortable wearing to work, school, or social settings.
Krypto Bite™ Chewable Necklace
For a sleek, stylish, unisex design, you can’t go past the Krypto Bite™ Chewable Necklace. At 7.62cm long, it is perfect for reaching the back molars, making it suitable for both front and back teeth chewers. For adults at school or those working in an office setting, a Krypto-Bite™ Chewable Pencil Topper is another sensory chew option. They come in three density levels and add weight to the pencil, which helps with hand awareness and increasing fine motor strength.
Chewelry for kids
There is an abundance of cool chewelry available for kids of all ages. From on-trend themes to classic staples, the hardest part of choosing chewelry for kids is where to stop! Remember to consider who you are choosing for – their age, how they chew, how often they chew, and what they like to chew before committing to a purchase.
Brick Stick Textured Chew Necklace
The Brick Stick Textured Chew Necklace is perfect for all Lego lovers. It has three density levels to suit light, moderate, and avid chewers. Alternatively, there is the Chewable Brick Bracelet for those who don’t like the sensation of a necklace or who usually chew their sleeves.
Are chew necklaces safe?
Most chew necklaces are made from FDA-compliant, medical-grade, food-safe silicone and are 100% non-toxic. They are:
- BPA free
- Latex free
- Phthalates and PVC free
Chew necklaces are not toys. They contain small parts that are choking hazards for adults and children. Chewelry should be used with supervision. Regular inspection of the chewelry pieces is essential for signs of wear and tear. Chew necklaces are not recommended for children under five years of age.
The safest clasp for a chew necklace is a breakaway clasp. This clasp ‘snaps’ open and prevents strangulation if the cord is pulled or catches on something.
Does chewelry damage teeth?
There is conflicting research on this. Consider visiting your dentist to discuss the use of chewelry if you are concerned. Their expertise and experience will help you decide whether chewelry is right for you and your family.
How to clean chewelry?
Silicone chewelry should be hand washed with warm soapy water and left to air dry after each use to prevent the growth of mould or bacteria.
Wondering where to buy chewelry?
Our selection of quality sensory chew necklaces and sensory chew toys are suitable for all adults and children but especially helpful for those who experience Autism, ADHD, or SPD. At Special Needs Resources, we are committed to helping people of all ages achieve their potential. Browse our extensive range of sensory chew toys or contact us if you have any questions about chewelry, and a member of our friendly staff can help you.