Many parents wonder, “Are pacifiers bad?” Well, as a parent to a newborn, that decision is entirely yours to make. Yes, pacifiers have their share of benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, you should be aware of them before deciding to give your baby a pacifier. In this blog, we will familiarize you with the pacifier’s pros and cons.
The Benefits of Pacifiers
First, we will tell you why a pacifier is suitable for your child. They might help your baby in many ways, which are given below:
- Soothe a crying or agitated baby: Pacifiers help soothe and comfort a baby when they are agitated. Sucking on a pacifier can help calm a baby in distress. This especially comes in handy after shots or similar medical procedures, as they also assist in distracting a baby.
- Lowers the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): SIDS is the unexpected and unexplainable death of a healthy baby who is less than a year old. Giving babies a pacifier to suck on as they sleep helps reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Help ease the baby during flights: Babies cannot relieve ear pain from air pressure changes. However, sucking on a pacifier can help alleviate any aching they have in their ear and soothe them.
The Drawbacks of Pacifiers
Now, let us tell you the answer to ‘are pacifiers bad?’ In truth, they do have certain pitfalls. These include:
- Increased risk of middle ear infections: Pacifiers can put your baby at risk of middle ear infections. Although, the possibility of a middle ear infection is lowest till your baby is six months old. This is also the time babies use them the most.
- Dental Problems: Pacifier use over an extended period can lead to dental problems. But why are pacifiers bad for teeth? Well, they can cause misaligned teeth in children. As a result, they will need dental treatments in the future to fix pacifier teeth. Thus, are pacifiers bad? For your child’s teeth, yes.
- Babies become too used to the pacifier: Your baby can become too dependent or used to the pacifier. It might be difficult to break their habit of using pacifiers. Therefore, it is best to limit their pacifier use to five to six hours daily.
Is there an age limit for pacifiers?
If you are wondering, “Are pacifiers bad for prolonged use?” then the answer is yes. Pacifiers can be given from birth, but it is better to wait three to four weeks. This will give your baby the time required to get used to a nursing routine. However, there is a pacifier age limit. It is advised to discourage pacifier use by most two to three years of age.
Conclusion: Are Pacifiers Bad or Not?
To answer your query: are pacifiers bad? Well, yes, they are for your child’s oral health. But only if they use it for an extended time. Pacifiers have many benefits as well, so it is better to use them safely and carefully. If you are concerned about your child’s dental health, contact our dental experts at Kids 4 Ever Pediatric Dentistry by dialing 832-300-8444.