Using A Pacifier: Truths Vs Myths

Using A Pacifier: Truths Vs Myths

Last update: 02 December, 2017

From the moment of birth, many parents choose to give their baby a pacifier or dummy, to calm and console them in moments of crisis.

The pacifier is also a way to prevent babies from picking up the bad habit of sucking their thumb, though this is not always possible. But if you’ve decided to give your baby a pacifier, you’re likely to have heard all kinds of opinions on the matter.

Many mothers think that pacifiers are a bad idea for babies, and should be avoided. The reality is that pacifiers can be suitable at times: when a baby is sleeping, when they are sick or simply to calm them down when they are very nervous, along with your love and affection.

Using a pacifier as a baby will not affect your child’s speech, their teeth, or anything else.

Pediatric dentists and pediatricians will tell you that using a pacifier is always preferable to your baby sucking their thumb or fingers.

Here are some common myths and truths about using a pacifier.

baby using a pacifier

Your child will always want their pacifier

Myth. Have you ever seen a 10-year-old child sleeping with a pacifier in their mouth? Probably not. On the other hand, babies who suck their thumb may well keep this bad habit up for many years. This can cause joint problems and even gum defects that prevent their teeth from coming in straight.

A pacifier helps babies to comfort themselves because sucking is psychologically calming for them. Using a pacifier will only become a problem if it goes on for too long.

However, it’s best to limit the use of the pacifier to bedtime, or when the baby is in their crib. If used while your baby is sleeping, it may help to combat sudden infant death syndrome.

If you breastfeed, your baby won’t latch on to your nipple

True. This isn’t a myth, it is true. When you begin to breastfeed, you should wait at least a couple of weeks before introducing the pacifier. Make sure that your baby has grasped the proper way of latching onto the nipple. They should be able to tell the difference between one kind of sucking motion and another.

baby sucking on a pacifier

Some pacifiers are better than others

True. Although many pacifiers come with claims to be better than others, it’s true that some pacifiers are better for your baby. For example, a pacifier that is too small could lead to choking.

You should give your child a pacifier that is suitable for their age range. It should be made out of one solid piece, so that there is no risk of it breaking in your child’s mouth.

Using a pacifier is bad for your child’s teeth

Myth. Pacifiers do not affect your child’s teeth, unless you wet them in juice that contains sugar and can cause cavities. However, there is some truth in this myth.

If your baby uses a pacifier constantly, this could lead to a narrowing of their upper palate, a shift in the position of their teeth, and a poor tongue posture… but only if they use the pacifier for too long.

Do you know of any other myths about pacifiers, or any truths that you would like to share with us? Remember that to get your baby out of the habit of using a pacifier, you will have to work gradually.

How did you get your baby to stop using a pacifier? Was it easy or difficult? Tell us about your experiences.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.