The use of pacifiers has come under criticism from various sectors due to their supposed negative effects on children’s dental health. Traditionally used to comfort children at bedtime, pacifiers can actually have seriously detrimental effects in a child’s health. Ask any pediatric dentist in San Diego, and he will likely tell you that pacifiers can do more harm than good.
Admittedly, there are benefits to pacifier use other than providing comfort. A study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) showed that apart from the marginal benefits provided by pacifiers, there can be considerable disadvantages as well. The most notable upside of pacifier use is that it may help reduce cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Because babies who use pacifiers tend to sleep more lightly than babies who do not use pacifiers, they wake more easily from sleep that causes breathing cessation associated with the condition.
Regardless of the benefits of pacifier use, they can have significantly detrimental effects on the teeth, gums, and mouth. When used for long enough, they can actually change the shape of the mouth, affecting normal growth, and adversely affecting the alignment of the teeth.
This is not to say that pacifier use should be eliminated entirely. Apart from its benefits with regard to preventing SID, pacifier use does have recognized comforting effects. For parents who wish to continue allowing their children to use pacifiers, regular consultation with a pediatric dentist in San Diego is recommended. This could help detect potentially serious dental health problems so that the proper treatment can be provided. If you would like to know more about how pacifier use can affect your child, call Children’s Dentistry of San Diego at (858) 536-1111.