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Children's Dentistry

Baby Pacifier Pros and Cons

Baby with PacifierIs putting baby to bed with a pacifier the way to Sleep Heaven? Or the start of a dangerous habit? Moms, doctors, even dentists have passionate opinions on both sides.

As usual, the truth lies pretty much in between.

A study published in a recent issue of General Dentistry indicates that babies sleeping with pacifiers are less likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) than those who don’t. It’s believed the pacifier allows baby to awaken from the kind of extremely deep sleep that could result in stopped breathing. They also provide what the pacifier was invented for: sucking satisfaction and a sense of well-being.

On the other hand, pacifiers can cause problems with the growth of the mouth, tooth alignment and more. And, like any other source of comfort, the pacifier can become a habit that’s hard to break. A tip: instead of making baby go “cold turkey,” let him or her suck themselves to sleep and then gently remove it for the night.

Pacifier use won’t cause any permanent tooth alignment problems as long as a child stops using it before that second birthday. The developing jawbone remains flexible and should correct itself.

News that should help pacify some of the more anxious Moms!

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