GG from Los Angeles wants to know about pacifiers. She has found so much confusing information and asks: Does it distort or affect a baby’s tooth and gum formation?
All about pacifiers
Thank you for asking GG. A recent article in Pregnancy and Newborn, June 2015, Sharde Harvey, DDS, of New York based Smiles Park Avenue Dental writes “for many infants, pacifiers have a calming effect and go a long way not only to help prevent pain and anxiety but also to reduce the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome. (SIDS)”
She goes on to say, “It is best not to start using a pacifier until your infant is 4 weeks old, by that time breast-feeding habits will be more firmly established. It is best to use a pacifier when your infant needs to fall asleep and don’t put honey or sugary syrup on the pacifier.”
However, she warns, ““Pacifiers do come with risks of long term complications including overbite, cross bite, and possible mouth distortion.”
Dr. Harvey suggests, “start discouraging your child from using the pacifier as early as 6 months with complete cessation by 2 years. Before 2 any problems with growing teeth usually correction themselves within 6 months of discontinuing pacifier use.”