A pacifier is a great tool for keeping a fussy child calm in some social situations or before bedtime, but you should be aware of the effect overusing a pacifier could have on the development of their teeth.
Do pacifiers help or hurt baby's forming teeth? It's a question many new parents have, when trying to decide whether to introduce the item to their child. There are several considerations you should keep in mind.
Why Do Babies Like Sucking?
Babies begin to suck their thumbs or other fingers in the womb. It's a natural reflex and helps to make them feel secure and safe. Since thumb-sucking relaxed your baby, it usually helps them fall asleep, especially if you are training them to use a crib for bedtime.
Are Pacifiers Harmful to Your Baby's Teeth?
If you're considering introducing a pacifier to help calm your child down, you should consider that any prolonged sucking can cause problems with their teeth alignment. It can also cause problems in the roof of the mouth from the constant pressure.
How to Break the Habit
If you're worried that your child will have problems because they're overusing a pacifier, there are things you can do to break the habit. With more waking hours, the use of a pacifier diminishes with time, but you can also contribute to relaxing the baby by comforting them if they're upset, keeping their room dark for naps or bedtime, and using relaxing music or nature sounds.
While pacifiers can have some negative effects on your baby's forming teeth, there is some research that suggests they can help with things such as SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. A study published in 2007, suggests that babies who suck on a pacifier, don't sleep as deeply as those who don't, which can allow the infant to wake up if they stop breathing.
If you have any concerns about whether pacifiers help or hurt your baby's forming teeth give us a call.
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