Using a pacifier or not?
Are pacifiers better than thumb sucking?
Babies have an innate sucking reflex, which makes them feel relaxed and soothed. Pacifiers satisfy this innate instinct and help your child to settle and feel calmer. But while babies often feel at ease with their soother, their parents do not.
From as early as the 29th week of pregnancy, embryos suck their thumbs and once born, babies often use their thumb as a “natural soother” to calm themselves. It’s often not possible to prevent babies from sucking at all. However, from a dental point of view, the baby’s thumb is the least suitable option for satisfying a baby’s instinct for sucking. The thumb cannot deform during sucking to fit the shape of your baby’s jaw and this leads to pressure on your baby’s mouth that can end up leading to long-term tooth and jaw misalignments. Often these need to be corrected by orthodontic treatment.
In addition, it can be very difficult to try and wean your child off thumb sucking later, because your child’s thumb is always “close at hand” and unlike a soother is obviously not something you can remove from your child’s reach.
Are pacifiers better than thumb sucking?
First things first: if you use a pacifier selectively, then they are a good aid for soothing and comforting and for helping your baby get to sleep.
However, we are of the same opinion as many dentists and do not recommend soothers for round-the-clock, uninterrupted use because that too would increase the risk of dental misalignments later in life.
But when your child wishes to satisfy its need to suck, a soother is a better option than their thumb, because you can use a soother selectively and it exerts less pressure on the child’s jaw – this is especially true of a dentally endorsed soother like the DENTISTAR pacifier.
Latex or silicone?
Pacifiers and feeding bottle teats are available in two different types of material – latex and silicone. Both have proven themselves to be an excellent choice of material for many years now. They have different qualities and properties.
Latex is a naturally occurring product and you can recognise it by its yellowish colour. Latex also has a specific taste and smell. Latex is a very robust material with a particularly high elasticity. It is very tear-proof and soft, making it bite-proof. Soothers with latex teats are especially suitable for children with teeth, who tend to chew on the teat.
Over time, latex ages through use, storage and through boiling the teat to sterilise it. Latex teats should not be exposed to heat or direct sunlight, as these can accelerate the ageing process. Old latex teats are easy to recognise, as the latex material becomes sticky and brittle and becomes absorbent. An old teat loses its elasticity and becomes less tear-proof. If you notice these changes, it is time to replace the teat. Depending on the amount of use and how they are cared for, latex teats will last for a longer or shorter time. Before every use of the soother or feeding bottle teat, you should check the teat to make sure the material is still in good order. Latex teats can be used for one to two months before they should be replaced to ensure hygiene and safety – even if it still looks fine and no damage is visible.
Latex allergies from latex teats?
We are not aware of any reported cases of latex allergy due to latex teat use. However, even if the risk of a latex allergy is minimal, we recommend parents to use silicone teats if their children have been diagnosed with an increased risk of developing allergies.
Silicone is an industrially made material, which is often used in the field of medical technology. As opposed to latex teats, silicone teats are transparent, taste-free and odourless. Silicone is very heat-resistant, which means the teats can be boiled in water and sterilised countless times without the material being damaged. Environmental factors like sunlight or heat do not affect silicone teats either, which generally makes silicone longer-lasting than latex.
However, silicone is less soft and flexible than latex and can tear more easily. Babies and children with teeth can damage the material if they tend to chew on the teats. That makes it important to check the teat for signs of damage before every use. As soon as any tiny tears or holes are visible, the teat must be replaced. Should you notice signs of damage to the teat from your child’s teeth, you should switch to using latex teats. In general, silicone teats should also be replaced after one to two months of use to ensure hygiene and safety.
Pacifier baglet shapes and sizes
Pacifier baglet shapes
Orthodontic shaped baglets, round natural shaped baglets, or newly developed baglet shapes like that of our DENTISTAR pacifier – many parents find choosing a soother baglet type a difficult task. The advice from midwives and dentists about soothers can vary greatly too.
Baglets in a round, natural shape (cherry shape)
This type of teat is the original and oldest baglet shape and mimics a mother’s nipple. Round teated soothers are often recommended by midwives as the “most natural” shape. When babies are breastfed, this soother teat shape can help reduce the risk of nipple confusion.
Orthodontic shaped baglets
This type of teat was developed by dentists in the 1950s to reduce the pressure on a child’s jaw during pacifier use and to thereby prevent jaw deformations from occurring. The orthodontic soother, with its upwardly tapered teat was developed in response to findings that the mother’s mamilla (nipple) changes its shape during breastfeeding to fit and adjust to the shape of the baby’s mouth and jaw.
The Dentistar’s pacifer was developed by us in close cooperation with orthodontists in accordance with the latest scientific findings. The Dentistar is the world’s first soother to be scientifically endorsed.
The specially developed shape of the baglet, with an extra-flat shaft and an integrated Dental-Step is designed to be as small as possible and thereby allows for the proper development of your baby’s teeth. This allows you baby’s jaw and “milk teeth” to develop naturally and prevents dental misalignments from occurring. This has been confirmed by the findings of a long-term study by the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany. The DENTISTAR is also endorsed and recommended by many dentists and speech therapists.
Why do pacifier baglets come in different shapes?
Because not all children prefer the same soother shape. Regardless of which soother shape you decide to opt for, it’s possible that your child finds that shape uncomfortable and that you may have to choose a different shape. Often babies will feel most comfortable with the shape their first soother had – for example the soother they were given in the hospital’s maternity ward.
So you may find that your baby makes the decision for you.