Pacifiers are among the most aptly named baby paraphernalia, but what if, instead of curing crankiness, they are actually causing babies to be more unruly?
That’s what the latest research suggests: that binkies can be teeming with bacteria, yeast and mold that can actually sicken babies rather than soothe them.
Pacifiers breed biofilms, a slimy slick of bacteria that can affect the healthy balance of microbes in a baby’s mouth, according to a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
“A lot of times when a child is cranky, the first thing a parent does is reach for a pacifier,” says Dr. R. Tom Glass, the study’s principal investigator and a professor of forensic sciences, pathology and dental medicine at Oklahoma State University. “But what are you using to treat the crankiness? It’s a vicious cycle.”