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The Pros and Cons of Pacifiers

Posted on 5/1/2024 by Nancy Shiba DDS
  <br title='b11'>child with pacifierBabies are born with an instinct to suck on objects because that is how they get their food for at least the first six months. Whether you breastfeed your baby or they are bottle-fed, babies are born knowing to suck on a nipple to get nourishment. Because they cannot feed their child all the time, some parents use a pacifier to soothe their child. Pacifiers have both positive and negative outcomes for babies and children, especially as it relates to their dental health.

The Positives of Pacifiers

One of the most important benefits of pacifiers is that they allow babies to soothe themselves when they are not eating. Many babies are happy and calm when they can suck on an object. Also, pacifiers can help calm a baby when an adverse event happens, such as during a shot at the doctor. Babies use pacifiers to get to sleep at naptime or bedtime. Also, giving a baby a pacifier during airplane flights may reduce the pressure on their ears, which can be uncomfortable. There is some research that indicates sucking on a pacifier reduces the chances your baby may experience Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Best of all, unlike thumbs, fingers, and toes, pacifiers are disposable, which means you can throw them out when you want your child to stop sucking on a pacifier.

The Negatives of Using a Pacifier

While pacifiers have several advantages, they also have significant disadvantages. One of the most important reasons against using a pacifier is that your baby might become dependent on the pacifier, so taking it away is going to be difficult. Also, pacifiers can lead to significant dental issues depending on how long your baby uses the pacifier. For example, if your baby uses a pacifier until they are two or three years old, their teeth may shift to make room for the pacifier, which can lead to malocclusions or bite issues, such as an open bite or a crossbite. Malocclusions are the main reason teenagers have to wear braces.

If you need help with baby dental issues, why not reach out to us today? We will be happy to make an appointment for you!

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Dental Blog - San Jose, CA • Nancy Shiba, DDS
Nancy Shiba, DDS, 125 N Jackson Ave, Suite 103, San Jose, CA 95116-1914 + (669) 306-7669 + + 6/17/2024