Academy of General Dentistry: Pacifier Use Assists in Reducing the Incidence of SIDS

Jan 11, 2007, 00:00 ET from Academy of General Dentistry

    CHICAGO, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pacifier use often attracts
 negative attention for potentially harming children's oral health. There
 are positive effects of pacifier use, however. In addition to calming the
 infant, pacifier use can also assist in reducing the incidence of Sudden
 Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, according to a report/study that appeared
 in the January/February 2007 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of
 General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
     "Contrary to popular belief, there are some positive effects that
 result from sucking on pacifiers," says Jane Soxman, DDS, author of the
 study and Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. "One is
 that they assist in reducing the incidence of SIDS. Babies who are offered
 a pacifier do not sleep as deeply as those who sleep without a pacifier
 Pacifier sucking makes it possible for the infant to be aroused from a deep
 sleep that could result in the stopping of breathing. Pacifiers also
 increase sucking satisfaction and provide a source of comfort to infants."
     Parents should be aware of the effects of pacifier sucking on an
 infant's oral health. "Children should stop using pacifiers by age two,"
 says Luke Matranga, DDS, MAGD, ABGD, AGD spokesperson. "Up until the age of
 two, any alignment problem with the teeth or the developing bone is usually
 corrected within a 6-month period after pacifier use is stopped. Prolonged
 pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause problems with the proper growth of
 the mouth, alignment of the teeth and changes in the shape of the roof of
 the mouth."
     Breaking the habit is not always easy, and there are several methods
 parents can use to stop it. Parents can dip the pacifier in white vinegar,
 making it distasteful; pierce the nipple of the pacifier with an ice pick
 or cut it shorter to reduce sucking satisfaction; leave it behind on a
 trip; or implement the "cold turkey" method.
     Tips and recommendations:
     -- Pacifier use should be restricted to the time when the infant is
 falling asleep.
     -- Pacifiers can cause severe lacerations if the shield is held inside
 the lips.
     -- Look for a pacifier with ventilation holes in the shield, as they
 permit air passage. This is important if the pacifier accidentally becomes
 lodged in the child's throat.
     -- In order to prevent strangulation, do not place a cord around a
 child's neck to hold a pacifier. Look for pacifiers that have a ring.
     -- A symmetrical nipple permits the pacifier to remain in the correct
 sucking position.
     -- Dispose of the pacifier after use; it is not sanitary to keep it or
 give it away.
     About the AGD:
     The AGD is a professional association of more than 35,000 general
 dentists dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession through
 continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the
 world's second- largest dental association, which is the only association
 that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists.
     More than 758,000 persons are employed directly in the field of general
 dentistry. A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of
 all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management and
 overall coordination of services related to patients' oral health needs.
     For more information about the AGD, please visit
     CONTACT: Susan Urbanczyk, +1-312-440-4308, or Stefanie Schroeder,
 +1-312-440-4346, or, both of Academy of General Dentistry

SOURCE Academy of General Dentistry