Pacifiers are a pretty controversial issue. I do NOT have an opinion on them. Neither do Dr. Fabozzi or Dr. Winter. Fabozzi Dental is pretty much a “no judgment” zone. We are here to help. And, thankfully, the best piece of advice my parents gave me when I became a new mom was that whatever I chose was the right answer for my kids. Mother DOES know best. So, I am not about to tell you if your child should or should not have a pacifier or a bottle or for how long. Only YOU can make that decision. But, I was fascinated by a set of stories I recently came across.
When you become a parent, things that may have grossed you out before become old hat. And, scenes from movies and TV shows make sense for the first time. I recently saw a scene from the new NBC TV show, “About A Boy,” in which a dad cleans his baby’s pacifier by sucking on it, and his childless friend is disgusted by it.
OK, what parent out there has not done that? But, as with most parenting conundrums, the question becomes, is that the right move? I’m guessing you do what the rest of us do and you “google” the topic only to become inundated with all sorts of information.
Consider this – just last year the American Academy of Pediatrics released a study suggesting that parents who suck on their child’s pacifier to clean it before they pop it in baby’s mouth are helping to boost their little immune systems. The study basically encouraged the practice, saying researchers found doing that reduced the risk of children developing asthma and eczema. I read that and just about ran around the house licking anything that was going to go in my children’s mouths. (Cut me some slack. Remember what I said about no boundaries or gross out factor when kids come into the picture?)
But, the American Dental Association said, “hold your horses!” Doing that also means parents may be transferring the bacteria that causes cavities and down the line possible tooth decay. In other words, cavities can be contagious, sort of.
And, as we said in previous blog posts, oral health care is as important to keeping you healthy overall as any other care.
So, what’s a mom to do? I think you trust your gut. YOU know the answer. And, honestly, sometimes, there is no other choice.
I once took a 6 hour plane flight with my then 6 month old son. I brought 5 diapers on board and two sets of clothes. Wouldn’t you know, that’s the time he started having tummy trouble. Needless to say, he used all of the diapers and extra clothes. Since there is no grocery store at 30,000 feet, we had no choice but to wrap him in paper towels and blankets. Not the most sanitary of options, but it worked in that pinch.
In your pinch… suck on the pacifier to clean it off. Or, don’t. Mommy knows best. But, you already knew that!
And, you can always “Ask the Dentists.” I don’t claim to be an expert. I just talk about what relates to or interests me and hopefully YOU. But, if you have a question that Dr. Fabozzi or Dr. Winter can answer… ask away. They’ll get back to you with the specifics ASAP.