The Impact of Pacifier Use on Your Baby’s Teeth
There are a few benefits to giving babies pacifiers. The research has shown that pacifiers can actually help reduce the incidences of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Babies who suck on pacifiers while they sleep don’t fall asleep as deeply as those who don’t suck on pacifiers. This means that if the baby stops breathing while sleeping they can more easily wake themselves up and start breathing again.
In addition to reducing the chance of SIDS, pacifiers also help provide comfort reducing a baby’s anxiety and stress levels.
But for all of the benefits, here are dental implications of using a pacifier. Continued sucking on a thumb or pacifier can negatively change the alignment of the teeth. Due to the obvious benefits of pacifier use experts recommend that pacifiers should be used but that the use should end by the time the baby turns two years old.
In addition to the impact on the tooth alignment, you also have to take into consideration that continued use of a pacifier could increase the incidences of inner ear infections. The sucking action causes the auditory tubes to remain open for a long time, allowing the inner ear to become infected.