Can Pacifiers Affect Teeth Development?
For some babies, using pacifiers provides a soothing and calming effect, especially after a child no longer needs nourishment from a breast or bottle. Several studies reveal that sucking pacifiers during nap time, or bedtime, can reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome. This is because pacifier sucking allows the infant to be aroused from a deep slumber that could result in the stopping of breathing. Compared to thumb-sucking, it is much easier to control pacifier use.
Here Are Some of the Possible Consequences of ‘Long-Term’ Pacifier Use in Babies:
- Long-term use of a pacifier can influence the shape of a baby’s mouth, as well as the alignment of their teeth. This is because their jaws get used to holding anything inside their mouth repeatedly, especially if the child is older than two years. The child’s upper teeth may become crooked, or the baby can have bite problems when he or she ages and matures.
- The American Academy of Family Physicians warns that pacifiers may increase the risk of ear infection in babies six months and older. This is because the auditory tubes become abnormally open, allowing secretions from the throat to seep into their middle ear.
- According to the studies, early pacifier use can interfere with breastfeeding because the baby may find it difficult to adjust to the nursing pattern. Some babies are more sensitive than others to those differences.
- Babies might become overly-dependent on pacifiers, and it can be a tough habit to break. Especially when the baby becomes a toddler.
- The baby’s dependence on pacifiers might send wrong signals about the real reasons behind the baby’s tears.
As long as pacifier use is not prolonged after two years old, parents can help lessen the risk of their babies having problems with the proper growth of the mouth, alignment of teeth, and changes in the shape of the roof of their mouth.