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May 15, 2013

Drop the Pacifier!

Should you suck on a pacifier before giving it to your baby?

A new study in Pediatrics, journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reports that parents sucking their infant’s pacifier may reduce the risk of allergy development.

The ADA wants parents to be aware that licking a pacifier can transfer the cavity-causing bacteria from parents to children—increasing the possibility of tooth decay as they grow.

A child’s teeth are susceptible to decay as soon as they begin to erupt, cavity-causing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans, can be transferred from adult saliva to children, increasing their risk of getting cavities.

Sharing eating utensils with a baby, or the parent sucking on a pacifier to clean it, can also increase the likelihood of transmitting decay-causing bacteria.

The ADA recommends that parents protect the dental health of young children by promoting a healthy diet, monitoring their intake of food and drink, brushing their teeth or wiping gums after mealtimes, and by having infants finish their bedtime or nap time bottle before going to bed. The ADA recommends that children receive their first dental visit within six months of eruption of the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age.