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Should Your Child Use a Pacifier?

March 03, 2018

When babies become particularly fussy, a pacifier can be a fantastic “ace in the hand” for parents. However, are there risks associated with letting your child use a pacifier?

In this issue, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of pacifiers, as well as discuss how long your child should use one.

Are there any negative health risks associated with letting my child use a pacifier?

There are hardly any risks at all. In fact, there’s plenty of data to suggest that allowing your child to use a pacifier will greatly reduce the chances of her or him experiencing SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

The only possible negative effect of a pacifier is a slight increase in the risk of your child developing a middle ear infection. However, even this risk is countered by the fact that your child is much less likely to experience a middle ear infection between the ages of birth-to-six (6)- months – the time when the risk of SIDS is the highest.

What are some of the pros and cons of my child using a pacifier?

There is a host of pros for pacifier use, including:

  • comforting your child when she or he becomes especially fussy and irritable;
  • helping your child to fall asleep faster; and
  • making airline flights tolerable for your child by making the “popping” of the ear more manageable.

While the cons are limited, they include:

  • the potential for causing a premature weaning from breastfeeding (your child needs food during this crucial time); and
  • the misalignment of teeth and abnormal forming of the roof of the mouth from extended use of a pacifier.

What type of pacifier should I choose?

If you have the option, be sure to select a one-piece pacifier that is dishwasher-safe.

How should I let my child use a pacifier?

You should never tie a pacifier to your child’s crib or clothing as it can easily become a choking hazard.

How long should I let my child use a pacifier?

It’s generally a good idea to begin weaning your child from pacifier use by the age of one (1) year.

For compassionate and fun pediatric dental care in San Diego, call ABC Children’s Dentistry.

This is a special and vulnerable time in your child’s life, so it makes good sense to make sure you know the importance of good dental health habits. By partnering with us here at ABC Children’s Dentistry in San Diego, we’ll work with you in developing an individualized plan of action for maintaining your child’s teeth.

To make an appointment for your child, call us 858-780-9794. You can also you can reach us online and via email.

 

 

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