Have you been worrying about the possible side effects of soothers?
Many parents use pacifiers and soothers to calm and comfort an unsettled baby. There are obviously many benefits to using a dummy, but there are also some hesitations. Of course, there are valid points on both sides of the pacifier debate, but that doesn’t deter parents eager for a solution to their little one’s discomfort.
Did you know that 75-85% of children in Western societies will use a pacifier at some point
during their early life? Soothers are so commonly used because their baby-calming power is truly impressive. They are adored by babies and sleep-deprived parents alike. Medically speaking, soothers and pacifiers are preferable to thumb sucking and have also been linked to a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
However, prolonged use of soothers and pacifiers can lead to dental problems later in your
In this blog we explore what these issues are and how you can avoid damage to baby teeth...
Can A Soother Cause Damage To Baby Teeth?
So, can a soother really cause problems with your baby’s teeth?
Dental issues can arise with prolonged use of pacifiers. These issues are generally known as
“pacifier teeth” and can present in several different ways:
● Protruding front teeth
● Moderate to severe overbite
● Anterior open bites (where the front lower and bottom teeth cannot come together)
● General crookedness of teeth
● Problems with the roof of the mouth
Unfortunately, these problems aren’t magically solved when the baby teeth fall out. Pacifier
teeth can have long-term and permanent impacts on your child’s mouth, jaw, tongue, and
What can you do to prevent these problems from occurring?
Best Practice Pacifier Use
By now, we have likely made you a bit paranoid… Sorry about that! While pacifier teeth are a genuine risk, it is completely possible for babies to use soothers healthily and without any lasting negative impacts.
Here is what you can do to help prevent pacifier teeth from striking...
● Keep pacifiers clean by regularly rinsing in water.
● Replace pacifiers before they become too old. If they are getting discoloured or have
started to deteriorate – it’s time for a new one.
● Use pacifiers that have fewer parts or are moulded from one piece of material
(check out our PATpat pacifier and Maple Wooden teether for inspo). This prevents
any little bits breaking off in baby’s mouth, creating choking hazards or doing
damage to teeth and gums.
When To Give It Up
The idea of parting with a pacifier can be very intimidating. After all, it becomes a beloved
part of bedtime routines and a great calm down technique. But it is best to do it early before
your little one has too much of a dependency on it. This will make the weaning process less
painful for everyone.
It is generally recommended that a child should be weaned from their pacifiers before the
age of 2 years in order to avoid dental problems. Of course, it is completely dependent on the child. You can start much earlier if you like - from 5 or 6 months or when they have started babbling. At this very early age they have more control over their mouth and tongue and are not so reliant on suckling.
If you have got to the stage where it is time to wave goodbye to your soother, then you can see our recent blog post for our top tips on how to wean your little one off it (weaning blog)!
Gobstopperz have an awesome range of versatile cuddlies, which can be used with soothers
and pacifiers, or as binkies on their own. Whichever stage your little one is at, we have a
fabulous accessory for them!