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THE PROS AND CONS OF PACIFIERS ACCORDING TO A DENTIST IN OAK HILL

Posted by Jack Fan Dec 03, 2018

Do you have a little one at home? Of course, you want to know what is healthy for them and what’s not. For years, parents have given their kids pacifiers to relax and fall asleep, but are they healthy for your baby? Using a pacifier comes with both pros and cons. Keep reading to learn the positives and negatives of using a pacifier from your dentist in Oak Hill.

THE PROS OF USING A PACIFIER

The biggest benefit that pacifiers have is that they provide comfort for your baby. Some infants have a need to suck and they haven’t figured out how to use their thumbs, or they may just like the comfort of having something in their mouth. Either way, pacifiers are great for getting your little one to stop the water works.

Another huge benefit is that pacifier use decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Many experts believe that little ones who suck on pacifiers don’t sleep as deeply, which makes them less susceptible to SIDS. Others believe that it helps open up air space between their mouth and nose to give them better oxygen flow.

THE CONS OF USING A PACIFIER

While pacifier use does present some great benefits for your child, it can also:

  • Harm the development and growth of their mouth
  • Lead to changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth
  • Affect breathing
  • Cause misaligned teeth

Thankfully, your dentist has a few ways you can minimize your child’s risk of the negatives that come with pacifier use:

Only give your infant a pacifier at bed time.

Use pacifiers with ventilation holes to help provide an air passage for breathing. This also helps if your child swallows their pacifier—they’ll still be able to breathe when choking.

Make sure to clean the pacifier before giving it to your loved one.

BREAKING THE HABIT

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends that infants stop sucking on pacifiers by age 2. That’s because any alignment problems with teeth can usually be corrected within 6 months after pacifier use has stopped. Your baby may not want to give up their pacifier, so here’s some simple ways you can wean your child off of it:

  • Dip the pacifier in white vinegar or other items your child doesn’t like.
  • Pierce the top of the pacifier or make it smaller to reduce the satisfaction it provides.
  • Leave it behind on a trip to make them understand that they can live without it.

Now that you know more about the pros and cons of using a pacifier, you can use these tips to minimize the harm it can cause your loved one. That way, they can get the comfort that they need without doing permanent damage to their smile.

MEET THE DENTIST

Dr. Jack Fan is proud to provide dental care for the whole family, including children’s dentistry. He believes in patient education, which is why he wants you to know some of the pros and cons of pacifier use. He currently practices at The Dental Centre, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (512) 361-4288 for any questions.

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