Pacifiers and Teethers: What’s Best for Baby
As a parent, your baby’s comfort is a main priority. You search for solutions to keep him or her relaxed and happy. To help soothe fussy babies, many caretakers turn to pacifiers or teethers. Nowadays, there seems to be an endless array of pacifier and teether “do’s and don’ts.”
This week’s Tip Tuesday comes from pediatric dentist Dr. John Davis, who offers his top tips and guidelines for navigating your baby’s pacifier and teether use.
Why use pacifiers and teethers in the first place?
- Babies enjoy using teethers and pacifiers because of their sucking reflex.
- These sucking reflexes develop at the 32nd week of pregnancy and fully develop in the 36th week. Sometimes, you can even see babies in the womb sucking their thumbs in an ultrasound.
Are pacifiers beneficial to my baby?
- When babies suck or chew on something, like a pacifier or teether, the pressure provides relief from the discomfort of new teeth forming.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests waiting to introduce a pacifier to breastfed infants until after 1 month of age to help curtail nipple confusion.
- The AAP also recommends using a pacifier with infants as a way to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Pacifiers also help develop swallowing muscle memory that can help babies become better swallowers.
Which pacifier is best?
- Size and design are both factors to consider when buying a pacifier for your baby.
- Pacifier size should be based on the child’s age; most pacifiers indicate this age range on the packaging.
- Pacifiers with a thin pacifier stem are less intrusive to a baby’s developing teeth.
- I worked with Dr. Brown’s to develop the PreVent pacifier, which works to minimize the pressure inside baby’s mouth that can sometimes create dental issues such as cross bites. The suction-free air channel also helps reduce suction and palatal pressure to ensure comfort for baby.
How should I care for my baby’s pacifiers?
- If you start to see any wear on your pacifiers, especially in the stem, throw out the pacifier to prevent any choking hazard.
- Don’t use the same pacifier every day. Wash it in the sink or put in the dishwasher to kill germs after each day of use.
- A cleaner like Brown’s Pacifier and Bottle Health Wipes naturally cleans your baby’s oral products on the go.
Which teether should I buy?
- Your child’s teethers should be the right size to reach all areas of discomfort for your child.
- A lot of teethers are too big to reach the two-year molars, which bother babies the most.
- Brown’s Teethers are designed to reach all areas of the mouth, even the far back molars and gums, without becoming a choking hazard.
If you have any questions about pacifiers or teethers for your baby, contact your child’s pediatric dentist.
About Dr. John Davis
Dr. John Davis is a certified pediatric dentist and a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He is the inventor of Dr. Brown’s PreVent Pacifiers and holds several patents for various devices. For the past 26 years, Dr. Davis has practiced privately in Virginia, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
About Handi-Craft® Company
The Dr. Brown’s lines of baby bottles, breastfeeding products, pacifiers, teethers, training cups, and solid feeding products are regarded for their technology and function. Dr. Brown’s products are available at baby specialty, pharmacy, and online retailers worldwide. For more information, visit drbrownsbaby.com.