-By Dr. Damini Agarwal M.D.S,MDPH (London)
Using a pacifier comes with both benefits and downsides, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Pacifiers provide a source of comfort to infants and assist in reducing the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to the AGD. Since babies with pacifiers sleep less deeply than those who sleep without pacifiers so they can be aroused from a deep sleep. Conversely, pacifiers can damage the growth and development of the teeth. Prolonged pacifier use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the oral cavity, prevent proper growth of the mouth and create problems with tooth alignment.
If you wish to give your child a pacifier, these tips can help reduce its harm:
- Restrict the use of pacifier when the infant needs to fall asleep.
- Look for a pacifier with aeration in the shield, as they permit air passage.
- Always clean the pacifier before giving it to a child.
Breaking the pacifier habit
Breaking the habit is not always easy. The AGD recommends that children should stop using pacifiers by age two. (Up until that age, any alignment problem with the teeth or the developing bone is usually corrected within six months after pacifier use is stopped).
Here are a few suggestions for helping a child wean from the pacifier:
- Dip the pacifier in white vinegar.
- Pierce the top of the pacifier or cut it shorter to reduce sucking satisfaction.
- Leave it behind on a trip.
Always throw away a used pacifier; it is not sanitary for another child to use or to save.
When can you introduce a pacifier?
Sucking on a pacifier and sucking on a breast are different actions, and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you wait until your baby is breastfeeding well and your milk supply is established. His 1-month birthday should be about right, though that's just a guideline.
What is a good age to take away a pacifier?
Pediatric dentists recommend limiting pacifier time once a child is 2 years old and eliminating it by age 4 to avoid dental problems.
When should you replace a pacifier?
Look for discolouration as well as holes, tears, and weak spots that could cause the nipple to break off when sucked, putting your baby at risk of choking. Some nipples also become sticky with age. Pacifiers aren't very expensive, so it's best to replace it as soon as it starts to show signs of deterioration.
How do you sanitize pacifiers?
Sterilize the pacifier by putting it in boiling water for 5 minutes before the first use. Make sure it's completely cooled down before giving it to your baby. Keep it clean by washing it with hot, soapy water after each use.
Are pacifiers good or bad?
Pacifier used during naps or nighttime can prevent sudden infant death syndrome. Doctors aren't sure how it works, but if you give your baby a pacifier while he/she is asleep, you might lower the risk of SIDS by more than half and satisfy the suck reflex because babies have a natural need to suck.
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