Sometimes a pacifier is the only thing that can calm a cranky baby. Parents tend to think of them as harmless, and as an easy way to pacify an infant. At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO we share some thoughts about pacifiers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says pacifiers don’t cause any medical or psychological problems. In fact, statistics show that using one during sleep can actually reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
On the other hand, using a pacifier may increase the risk of dental problems and middle ear infections. They are also a potential choking hazard.
On the up side:
- Pacifiers make babies happy.
- They can help babies fall asleep.
- They can distract a baby during stressful times, like at a doctor’s checkup.
- It’s easier for most babies to give up a pacifier than give up thumbsucking.
On the down side:
- Babies can become dependent on a pacifier.
- They may increase the risk of middle ear infections – although ear infections are not common during the first six months of life, and the risk of SIDS is highest.
- If a toddler can’t give up a pacifier after age three, it could lead to crooked teeth.
Pacifiers have been used successfully by countless parents for decades. They benefit parents as much as they do babies, and you should take your needs into consideration when trying to make up your mind about whether to use a pacifier.
At Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO, we recommend one-piece silicone pacifiers to those parents who choose to give one to their baby. Parents from Boulder, Louisville, and Broomfield have trusted our general and family dentistry to maintain their children’s dental health. We also offer specialties like sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment today!
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