To binky or not to binky? Pacifier use for infants has been a subject of debate as long as they’ve been around. Richmond pediatric dentist Dr. Malije Onwueme shares some pros and cons below.
Pacifiers can soothe a fussy baby. Whether your child has a strong sucking reflex or has difficulty falling asleep, a pacifier can be an effective step towards entering Dreamland. (Unfortunately, sleeping through the night is not affected by pacifier use.)
Pacifiers are distracting. If baby has to have a shot, a binky can help to forget the poke.
Pacifiers can reduce SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) risk at naptime and bedtime. If breastfeeding, wait until baby is 3-4 weeks old and you’ve got a regular nursing routine.
Pacifiers may increase ear-infection risk. However, babies 0-6 months old are at the highest risk of SIDS and the lowest risk of ear infection, which is the age babies usually want a binky most.
Prolonged pacifier use can lead to dental problems. Westpark Pediatric Dentistry wants you to know that normal pacifier use during the first few years of a child’s life rarely affects the teeth, but prolonged use can cause bite misalignment or postpone teeth coming in as they should.
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
About Malije Onwueme, DDS
With a big smile and a positive attitude, Dr. Mali aims to provide an exceptional dental experience for children along with a warm and caring environment for families. She resides locally with her husband and two young children. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, watching soccer, trying new foods, and spending time with her husband and children.