The Benefits and Harms of a Pacifier for Children
Children who suck on a pacifier for more than two years have smaller adult teeth and jaws.
The long term benefits of using a pacifier in children:
Prevents Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Aid with weight gain and development Help with breastfeeding and the mother’s ability to return to work Reduces cavities by reducing sucking on fingers, thumbs, or bottles Plastic models can be sterilized after each use.
They do not lose their shape when subjected to the heat generated by an autoclave Is used as a dummy when there is no breast milk available Has been shown to reduce dental malformation in children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy. The medical profession does not agree whether this is true or false! More recent studies show that this may not be the case.
A young child can become dependent on it and want to use it all the time (especially if the mother is away during the day) Can cause tongue-tie, dental problems, speech problems, ear infections because of its constant use It is difficult to break an infant’s habit of sucking on a pacifier after being used for more than two years. This can cause mouth pressure or even mouth sores that will hurt when eating.
Pacifier side effects:
1. Newborns often suck on pacifiers while sleeping, putting them at risk for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
2. Candida infections, crusted nipples, and dental problems in children may be caused by the use of a pacifier.
3. Early weaning and prolonged sucking can cause speech and motor skill delays in infants and toddlers.
4. The long-term effects of this habit could include dental malocclusion or crowding of teeth because of displacement or retention of primary teeth to accommodate the distal placement of the oral contraceptives in the mouth when used throughout adolescence.
5. It is believed that pacifier use can also lead to thumb-sucking habits in early childhood, which is thought to interfere with normal tooth development.
Pacifier pros and cons:
1. It helps babies self-soothe and fall asleep.
2. The pacifier can be a good distraction when a child is getting a shot or blood sample at the doctor’s office.
3. Some studies show that children who use a pacifier are less likely to have ear infections, especially while cutting their first tooth, at age one or two months old, or after six months of age.
4. Pacifiers may reduce crying episodes in both premature infants and full-term infants.
5 In addition, the AAP states that pacifier use during hospitalized preterm infants’ stay may help decrease stress behaviors such as continuous crying, which has been shown to delay growth and increase susceptibility to illness from common bacteria that populate the hospital environment.
6. If your baby is having trouble latching on to the breast, the use of a pacifier may be useful for getting milk into your baby’s tummy while you work with an expert lactation consultant to solve the latch-on problem.
7. Research shows that children who suck their thumbs or fingers are more likely to develop oral cancer later in life than those who do not exhibit this behavior.
8. It can reduce crying during immunizations and other medical procedures performed around the ages of two months and six months because babies do not associate the discomfort of a shot with a thumb or finger in their mouth.
9. Pacifiers could help increase bonding between mother and infant, which means moms will have an easier time breastfeeding when they go back to work.
10. Pacifiers may help reduce the risks of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and ear infections.
11. The AAP states that pacifier use might decrease the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), especially among babies who are prone to breathing problems while sleeping, such as those with colds or stuffy noses.
12. Pacifiers should be used only when a child is falling asleep and then should be removed within 15 minutes.
13. Using a pacifier longer than 30-45 minutes at a time increases the chance of nipple confusion and decreased breast milk production during breastfeeding which can lead to your baby feeding less often or giving up on breastfeeding together!
14. If you notice signs of infection such as redness, pain, and tenderness of the baby’s mouth around the nipple crease, do not use a pacifier until you have seen your doctor.
15. Pacifiers can interfere with breastfeeding because sucking on anything other than mom leads to decreased milk production and makes it harder for your baby to learn how to breastfeed effectively.
16. Pacifiers may cause dental problems such as an overbite, crossbite, or open bite which require braces later in life or even surgery!
17. Pacifiers may prevent babies from making new sounds once they’ve learned how to communicate their basic needs through crying and cooing sounds.
18. Long-term use of a pacifier has been linked to ear infections and speech delays in children between ages two and four years old.
19. Pacifier use is discouraged for all babies at the hospital and parents should wait until leaving to introduce a pacifier.
20. The sucking motion required may delay the onset of myelination, essential in the formation of normal brain function and neurological development needed for both gross and fine motor skills.