The Pros and Cons of Using a Pacifier
Pacifiers are commonly used to soothe infants. However, there are also some detrimental effects that can come about when a child uses a pacifier for too long. Should you allow your child to have a pacifier at all? Here is a pros and cons list so that you can make an informed decision.
Benefits of Pacifiers
Here are two reasons that many parents choose to use pacifiers:
- They can comfort a crying child – It’s more than just stopping your baby from crying so you can concentrate. You genuinely want your child to stop crying because he or she feels better, and using a pacifier accomplishes that goal.
- They may save your child’s life – There is some evidence that pacifiers may reduce the occurrence of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Problems Caused by Pacifiers
Here are some of the downsides of pacifier use:
- Long-term use can affect proper oral development – You shouldn’t allow your child to use a pacifier past his or her third birthday or it can begin to affect teeth negatively. Mouth shape can also be affected, leading to misalignments when adult teeth grow in.
- Potentially increase the risk of ear infections – Research has emerged that links continuous pacifier use to a higher occurrence of ear infections.
Helping Your Family Make Good Oral Care Decisions
As a result of the information noted above, many families have decided to use a pacifier, but they begin weaning the child off of it early, so as to reduce dental health impact. BRSH+FLSS Pediatric Dentistry is proud to monitor the oral healthcare of many infants and children in the San Diego area. To learn more or to schedule an appointment for your child, call 619-741-1500 today!