Latex or silicone?
Pacifiers and feeding bottle teats are available in two different types of material – latex and silicone. Both have proven themselves to be an excellent choice of material for many years now. They have different qualities and properties.
Latex is a naturally occurring product and you can recognise it by its yellowish colour. Latex also has a specific taste and smell. Latex is a very robust material with a particularly high elasticity. It is very tear-proof and soft, making it bite-proof. Soothers with latex teats are especially suitable for children with teeth, who tend to chew on the teat.
Over time, latex ages through use, storage and through boiling the teat to sterilise it. Latex teats should not be exposed to heat or direct sunlight, as these can accelerate the aging process. Old latex teats are easy to recognise, as the latex material becomes sticky and brittle and becomes absorbent. An old teat loses its elasticity and becomes less tear-proof. If you notice these changes, it is time to replace the teat. Depending on the amount of use and how they are cared for, latex teats will last for a longer or shorter time. Before every use of the soother or feeding bottle teat, you should check the teat to make sure the material is still in good order. Latex teats can be used for one to two months before they should be replaced to ensure hygiene and safety - even if it still looks fine and no damage is visible.
We are not aware of any reported cases of latex allergy due to latex teat use. However, even if the risk of a latex allergy is minimal, we recommend parents to use silicone teats if their children have been diagnosed with an increased risk of developing allergies.
Silicone is an industrially made material, which is often used in the field of medical technology. As opposed to latex teats, silicone teats are transparent, taste-free and odourless. Silicone is very heat-resistant, which means the teats can be boiled in water and sterilised countless times without the material being damaged. Environmental factors like sunlight or heat do not affect silicone teats either, which generally makes silicone longer-lasting than latex.
However, silicone is less soft and flexible than latex and can tear more easily. Babies and children with teeth can damage the material if they tend to chew on the teats. That makes it important to check the teat for signs of damage before every use. As soon as any tiny tears or holes are visible, the teat must be replaced. Should you notice signs of damage to the teat from your child’s teeth, you should switch to using latex teats. In general, silicone teats should also be replaced after one to two months of use to ensure hygiene and safety.