Are soothers and pacifiers safe for my baby?
Thumb-sucking, soothers and pacifiers generally become a problem only if they go on/ are used for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if the habit continues past the age of three then a paediatric dentist may recommend using a mouth appliance to discontinue the habit. Soothers and pacifiers are not recommended once all baby teeth have grown (at about 2 to 3 years of age). After this age, regular use may affect the child's speech and language development. It may also interfere with breast-feeding.
What precautions should be taken if my baby uses a pacifier?
• The use of pacifiers should be stopped once the baby's teeth have grown in.
• Make sure breast-feeding is well established before you give your baby a soother or pacifier.
• Choose a pacifier that fits your baby's mouth or else it may pose a choking hazard.
• Do not coat it with honey or any other sugary substance as in can cause decay.
• Make sure it has no holes, cracks or splits to avoid infection.
• Wean your baby off the pacifier between the ages of 1 to 2 years.
• Keep it clean by rinsing it with warm water after every use and keep it covered.
Why is it unsafe to share spoons and forks with babies?
Parents and caregivers often share spoons and forks and utensils with babies. The saliva left behind on these utensils contains bacteria that can cause tooth decay and get transferred when shared with the baby. If a family member has gum problems, he/she may transfer the bacteria to your baby. This can be prevented by making sure your family practises good oral hygiene routines and not sharing used utensils with babies. Avoid testing baby food with the same spoon that has been in your mouth.