Baby oral health

Are you guilty of infecting your child?

This is how you do it: Your baby’s binky falls to the floor, you lick it and pop it back in his/her mouth.


You might have had a cold sore, even once in your life, or an infection could be readying itself to lay you low right now. You have just given those germs to your baby.  Have you ever had a cavity? These are contagious too!

I was never kissed on the mouth by my parents: my husband and I have never kissed our daughter on the mouth. She isn’t missing anything for having only been kissed to the top of her head or cheek. And if she had a pacifier she let fall, we would at the very least rinse it off, washing with soap being preferable.

Parents get tired. I get that, I was there once too. Baby will suck his thumb – those two built-in pacifiers that are free, durable, and can’t get lost – if he’s not hungry. The only thumbnail/caveat is it’s better if they don’t suck them too often or too long, as this can deform the structure of their incoming teeth.

The better we pay attention to their hungry/sleepy/had-enough signals, and the more interesting things your little one has to watch and do, the better, and the less often they will suck a pacifier or thumb.

There are other sound reasons not to get them used to a pacifier. Many soft plastics have been found to contain phthalates, which can cause changes in babies’ reproductive systems; Mother Jones magazine says there are NO safe plastics. Would you poison your baby, or risk shrinking a boy’s genitals – for the sake of quiet?

I pray not.


About majaramirez

former assistant instructor in tai chi chu'an; current TreeKeeper (#467); former Master Gardener; member of American Bird Conservancy, Audubon, Fraternal Order of Police, and Mensa; recently retired career cop; wife and mom.
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