Bite and Tear Hazard Assessment

Mouthing is one of children's primary strategies to explore their environment. Mouthing and biting, while important to a child’s development, can lead to released small parts posing choking and aspiration hazards to children.

The risks increase as strength and coordination improve and teeth develop. Intertek’s uncommon approach to research in this area employs bite fixtures that replicate the human mouth. Intertek’s Bite and Tear Hazard Assessment Models accurately simulate how one-, two- and four-year-olds bite and tear products. The test methodology simulates how children will pull against objects using their teeth while holding or pulling on them with their hands.

How it works:  The bite and tear fixtures were produced in consultation with leading pediatric dentists and prosthodontists. Because children’s teeth and jaws change rapidly during the early years of life, fixtures are representative of the dentition, jaw dimensions and mandibular movements for children aged one, two, and four years old.

The dentition castings were reproduced with state-of-the-art prosthodontic materials that simulate characteristics of teeth and bone. Structures containing teeth are mounted on cams to replicate movement of the human jaw. Data acquired through child observation studies and strength tests defined Intertek’s bite and tear methodology. During evaluation, products are subjected to a 50 pound bite force, a pull force with 180 degree rotation until the product fails and simulated chewing movements. Statistical analysis of the data is provided.

In an award-winning, May 1996 presentation, the Intertek bite and tear fixtures and evaluation methodology was demonstrated to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists. 
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