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Choose the Right Pacifier to Protect Your Baby's Oral Health

Posted on 6/30/2016 by Fariba Mutschler
A young baby sucking onto a pacifier.You've probably heard that pacifiers can impact your child's teeth as he gets older, but this doesn't mean that you can't use one to soothe him during infancy. The trick is to choose the right pacifier that will minimize the risks while keeping your child's mouth healthy.

When you head off to your local children's store to look at pacifier options, you will likely become overwhelmed by the numerous choices they have lining the aisles.

However, there are two different nipple options that you need to distinguish between: orthodontic and non-orthodontic. The orthodontic designs are slim and flat, resembling the shape of a mother's nipple. Non-orthodontic pacifiers have rounded, bulb tips.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have advised parents to choose pacifiers that come in one piece without any moving parts, liquid compartments, or built-in components.

Pacifiers need to have a silicone nipple rather than soft plastic or latex, as these options tend to be smoother and are less attractive to germs, and they should also have a base that is sealed instead of open.

Once you have the right pacifier, it is important to use it responsibly. Many mothers wait to introduce it until breastfeeding has been established, typically around 3-4 weeks after birth.

Your baby will begin to suck on his pacifier as a soothing habit, but you should never leave him unattended while he sucks on his pacifier. You should also choose a pacifier that has a shield that is wider than his mouth in order to eliminate the risk of choking.

It is crucial that you discourage your child from sucking on a pacifier after he reaches about three years old, but even sooner than this is preferred.

If you need help getting your child to stop using a pacifier, or if you simply want to learn more about the dangers, contact our office for tips.

Great Grins for Kids gets our highest rating. The dentists and staff are highly professional, yet compassionate and friendly. We have had experience with other dental practices that don't measure up. Getting our kids to Great Grins was a wonderful upgrade for our family. You set the bar very high! ~ Annabelle C.

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