Every responsible parent wants their baby to feel comfortable all the time. Since pacifiers can easily soothe even the fussiest child, we don’t blame you if you think it’s not a bad idea to rely on them until your baby’s ready to stop. Unfortunately, the effects of prolonged pacifier use are downright horrible.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, long-term use of pacifiers can lead to problems related to breastfeeding, orthodontics, and otitis media. In fact, there are more possible complications out there such as infections.
However, we’re just going to highlight these three effects:
Pacifier use can result in premature breast weaning
Mothers are consistently reminded by commercials, books, and other types of media that breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years old. Sadly, with constant pacifier use, your baby might not be able to completely gain the benefits of breastfeeding.
Although there’s no significant link between the use of pacifiers and breast weaning, babies dependent on soothers may find it hard to latch or drink milk straight from their moms. That could be a factor for early weaning.
Prolonged pacifier use may affect teeth development
Unless your baby is using an orthodontic pacifier, long-term use of soothers is more likely to ruin the alignment of your child’s teeth. Sure, that problem definitely has several solutions, but having braces is a known inconvenience for children.
Orthodontic procedures can also take a toll on your budget. They can be very expensive. That’s why it’s best to stay away from them by resorting to drastic means – weaning your baby from pacifiers at the right age.
Using pacifiers can cause problems in the middle ear
Collectively known as otitis media, middle ear diseases may develop from pacifier use. Why is this even possible?
It turns out that sucking and misaligned teeth can trigger otitis media. If your baby would keep on sucking a pacifier for several years, nasopharyngeal secretions might penetrate his middle ear. Meanwhile, orthodontic problems can affect the eustachian tube, an integral section for controlling middle ear pressure.
The effects of prolonged pacifier use include problems in breastfeeding, teeth alignment, and the middle ear. Pacifiers can be useful, but don’t let your baby use them for a long time.