Baby Pacifiers

Baby Pacifiers: What You Need to Know

Dianna Kersey General Dentistry

Baby pacifiers can be an important tool for you to navigate through the late nights and difficult realities of life with a newborn. There are so many pacifiers available to choose from at baby stores and online. Some of the pacifiers even have orthodontist recommendations or approval to address concerns about how baby pacifier use can impact your child’s teeth. Here are some things to know about baby pacifiers.


Could Reduce SIDS Risk


There is some research that suggests that pacifier use by a baby at night could reduce their risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Although some people fear that the baby could choke from having something in their mouth, most commercially available pacifiers are designed to reduce choking risk. Sucking on a pacifier is incredibly soothing for newborns and could help them sleep in longer bursts throughout the night.


Wait, if Breastfeeding


Lactation consultants and pediatricians agree that mothers who plan to breastfeed their babies should wait around four weeks before introducing a pacifier. The thought is that learning to breastfeed is difficult and requires energy. If the baby learns that his/her needs for self-soothing can be met through a pacifier, it could make the process of learning to breastfeed more difficult. It is also recommended that breastfeeding mothers avoid using a bottle during this time until breastfeeding is more established.


Ventilation Holes


Many pacifiers come with ventilation holes that can protect your baby in the unlikely event that the pacifier becomes lodged in their mouth. The biggest and most popular brands tend to have ventilation holes in their design that are not very noticable but do exist. This is to keep your little one safe.


Keep Pacifier Clean


Babies and toddlers are notorious for dropping their toys and possessions everywhere. It is important that you keep your baby’s pacifier clean. Be sure to sterilize it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Without regular cleaning, baby pacifiers can harbor bacteria and viruses that you don’t want to expose to your baby.


Wean By Age 2


Ultimately, you want to wean your baby off of using a pacifier by age two. This can sometimes be easier said than done. Some parents resort to using vinegar to discourage toddlers from putting the pacifier in their mouths or trying to go cold turkey and just take the pacifier away. Discontinuing the pacifier by age two should limit any potential dental damage related to the pacifier.


Want to Learn More About Baby Pacifiers and Dental Health?


Once your child has teeth, it is important to make an appointment with the pediatric dentist, even if they’re under a year old. Contact us today to make your child’s first appointment with “Dr. Jeff” by calling 914-245-1670 or go to www.drjeffdentist4kids.com to schedule their first appointment. Give your child a solid start that will lead to a lifetime of good dental hygiene.