Benefits and Warnings of Using a Pacifier

You may refer to it as a “binky,” “nuk,” “paci,” “dummy,” “plug,” or “nubby,” either way, the use of pacifiers is very common among infants and is used to soothe a child. But have you ever wondered if it is harmful to your child’s oral health?  It’s important for all parents to learn the good and the bad of using a pacifier.

The Benefits of Using a Pacifier

Infants using pacifiers during their nap time have a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as, SIDS. The sucking motion from the pacifier helps strengthen your child’s oral muscles. Increasing oral muscles will help your child eat and swallow while reducing their chances of gagging. The use of a pacifier will help your child learn to control their feelings and provide comfort and security.

The Warnings of Using a Pacifier

Introducing pacifiers too early to your infant may cause problems with breast feeding. Reframe from giving your infant one until they are at least one month old and do not force it onto your child. Be cautious that the use of pacifiers during nap time has been associated with middle ear infections. The sucking motion causes fluid collection in their ear leading to an ear infections. It’s recommended to stop your child from using their pacifier at the age of two. After two years of age, the use of pacifiers can cause an increase in dental problems.  These dental problems start with the misalignment of your child’s teeth. Their front teeth can slant out and the bottom teeth might tilt in, leading to the upper and lower jaw not lining up properly and the sides of the mouth to be narrower. These aesthetic malformities can affect your child’s speech and self-esteem, and recent studies have shown that childrenwith malformed teeth get bullied more often. Baby teeth are the pathways to adult teeth, crooked baby teeth lead to crooked or impacted adult teeth.

Weaning Of The Pacifier

When your child is about two years old, you should start weaning them off their pacifier. This will help reduce future dental problems from occurring. Here are some tips to help stop your child from using it:

  • Limit usage to their nap time only
  • Substitute it for a blanky
  • Praise them for not using it
  • Trade it in for a toy

Cleaning A Pacifier

Never Use your own saliva to clean your baby’s pacifierTooth decaying bacteria as well as periodontal bacteria can be transferred through the saliva. To sterilize it, boil it in hot water for five minutes. Wash it with hot water and soap after each use. When they start to look worn out, throw it out and replace them. Your child’s safety is important and if you are unsure of any safety or health issues you should speak with your Pediatric Dentist.

At Advanced Children’s Dentistry, your Garden City Pediatric Dentist, we want to make sure parents are aware of everything they need to know to help promote their child’s oral health. Whether it is something as common as a pacifier or as extreme as a sports injury. Let’s work together to protect your child’s beautiful smile.

Call us today 516-758-KIDS (5437) and reserve your child’s dental care appointment. Advanced Children’s Dentistry is proud to serve the surrounding areas: Mineola, Hempstead, West Hempstead, Franklin Square, Uniondale, New Hyde Park, Westbury, North New Hyde Park, Roosevelt, North Merrick, Roslyn, Carle Place, Williston Park, Old Westbury, Albertson, East Meadow, Garden City Park, Floral Park, East Garden City, and more.

We accept most major insurance plans, call for more information.


What You Need To Know About Pacifiers

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