There comes a time when all parents have to ask the question “do I let my baby use a pacifier?’ There are benefits along with consequences to baby pacifiers, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).
Of course, there are plenty of positives. For example, pacifiers provide a source of comfort for infants. They also assist in greatly reducing the occurrence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Babies with pacifiers sleep less deeply than those without, so they are aroused from sleep easily to prevent the stoppage of breathing.
But just like everything else, there is a downside to pacifiers. They can negatively affect the growth and development of teeth and the mouth. Prolonged pacifier use can change the roof of the mouth’s shape, prevent proper growth of the mouth and can create issues with tooth alignment.
Because of the significant problems of pacifier of use there are some points parents have to remember:
- Restrict pacifier use when the infant needs to fall asleep
- Look for a pacifier with ventilation holes in the shield to increase breathing ability.
- Always clean the pacifier before giving it to the baby
Breaking the habit
AGD recommends that children should stop using pacifiers up to the age of two. If anything goes beyond that then alignment problems with the teeth or the developing bone is usually corrected after pacifier use is stopped.
But breaking the habit of pacifier use is not easy. Here are some suggestions the AGD proposes to help stop the habit.
- Dip the pacifier in white vinegar
- Pierce the top of the pacifier or cut it shorter to reduce sucking satisfaction
- Leave it behind on a trip
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