Using Pacifiers – Is it Good for Your Baby? 12

Many Parents have a high dilemma in deciding if it is okay to give pacifiers for their baby. Check out our Pediatric Dentist's advice for using pacifiers.

Today I will be discussing a very common uncertainty that prevails among parents. “Doctor! Is using Pacifiers good for my baby?” Oh well! I cannot answer this in one sentence. Using Pacifiers has always been a contentious idea under debate. There are many theories which support and yet many others which object using pacifiers.              


“Law yet to settle“- Using Pacifiers is a Controversial Subject

The present day mommies are like a “Double Edged Sword”. They nurture their little ones in a perfect way as well pamper them in an equally perfect way.

Today’s scenario is a never ending battle between the terrible child and the demanding parents sitting in the opposite poles.

Now the query arises whether we can end this battle and create a new healthy environment? Yes, a slight change in the paradigm shift will create a healthy environment.

Don’t work HARDER to nurture them!

Work SMARTER to nurture the tiny tots!

In this article, I am going to discuss the controversial ideas about using pacifiers. Some pediatricians and pediatric dentists completely deny using pacifiers, whereas few others view pacifiers to be helpful if used in moderation. So finally the pacifier use comes with both benefits and downsides.

Many Parents have a high dilemma in deciding if it is okay to give pacifiers for their baby. Check out our Pediatric Dentist's advice for using pacifiers.

Pros of using Pacifiers

On the positive side,

  • Happier to make the unhappy baby smile

Suitable for unhappy babies where the child’s energy is spent into sucking on a pacifier rather than crying.

  • Soother to put the baby to sleep

If you arouse a baby from a deep sleep, it could result in the stopping of breathing. Pacifiers make the child sleep less deeply than those who sleep without them. So using pacifiers reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome [SIDS].

  • Comforter to calm a frightened baby

Pacifiers give the child a sense of calm, security and comfort during stressful situations and when they are anxious.

Cons of using Pacifiers

Now, the other side of the coin says,

  • The pacifiers increase the risk of ear infection in babies older than six months.
  • By two years of age, dental effects can be seen, but the greatest changes appear in children older than four years.
  • Long term sucking can cause:

Top front teeth slant out.

Bottom front teeth tilt in.

Upper and lower jaws to be misaligned.

The root of the mouth becomes narrower.


Recommended : 12 Common Myths about Children’s Teeth that you Should Stop Believing


So Using Pacifiers is Good or Bad?

Many Parents have a high dilemma in deciding if it is okay to give pacifiers for their baby. Check out our Pediatric Dentist's advice for using pacifiers.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, the term oral stage (birth to 18 months) denotes that “In this stage mouth of the infant is his or her primary exogenous zone.”

Sucking is a natural reflex for babies they develop even before they are born.

Many children find comfort by sucking their hands, fingers or pacifiers. Now, the parental concern arises, whether these sucking habits can create a problem for child’s teeth or mouth?

During the child’s first few years, sucking habits does not damage his or her teeth or mouth.

But prolonged, frequent, long term sucking can cause serious issues.

Pacifiers are beneficial and have a positive influence on kids between one and six months age.

Most kids stop using the pacifiers on their own between the age of two and four, others need help to break the habit. The effective elements to say “goodbye” to the pacifier habits are praise and reward.

Many Parents have a high dilemma in deciding if it is okay to give pacifiers for their baby. Check out our Pediatric Dentist's advice for using pacifiers.

Don’t ever scold or punish the child, encourage them to get rid of the habit and slowly make them cultivate good oral habits (like brushing twice daily). Avoid stressful situations and offer them plenty of cuddles and comforts whenever needed.

If you have any more queries, you can post them in the comments section. I will answer as early as possible.

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Many Parents have a high dilemma in deciding if it is okay to give pacifiers for their baby. Check out our Pediatric Dentist's advice for using pacifiers.

 


Image Credits :  Gwenaël Piaser via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Note : Added text to the original images used in this post.


About Dr Uma Maheswari N, Pediatric Dentist

Dr Uma Maheswari N BDS., MDS., is an accomplished Pediatric Dentist and Professor in the department of Pedodontics and Preventive dentistry in J.K.K. Nataraja Dental College, Tamilnadu. Her interests are always centered around children. Her research areas include Management of dental anxiety in children and she conducts several health intervention programmes. She follows game based techniques to create dental health awareness in children.



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