Pacifier or Thumb?

Pacifier or Thumb?

As late as the 1940s, infants in Germany were given soothers (Azazel) to calm them down, into which overzealous mothers stuffed sweet rusk porridge. The result: the very first milk teeth were attacked by caries. In 1949, Professor Wilhelm Baltes and Dr. Adolf Müller created the “natural and orthodontic soother and jaw shaper” to prevent tooth damage. As a dentist, Müller often had to treat children with misaligned jaws and teeth caused by thumb sucking. Children who had been breastfed for a long time showed hardly any deformities. So Müller and the orthodontist Baltes developed a prosthesis made of flexible rubber, which resembled the mother’s breast overall and was adapted to the shape of the palate with its slanted tip.

The optimal form

The modern pacifier consists of a mouthpiece made of latex or silicone and a shield that prevents the mouthpiece from being swallowed. The ideal teat exerts little pressure on the jaw, leaves enough room for the tongue and does not disturb the child when swallowing.


Silicone or latex?

… that mostly depends on the taste of the child. If the pacifier doesn’t taste good, spit it out. Latex consists of natural rubber milk, contains fats, feels very soft, and is hugely bite and tear-resistant. However, a latex pacifier also becomes unsightly more quickly. An exchange after about six to eight weeks is advisable. Some babies are allergic to the proteins contained in latex.

Silicone is a material that is frequently used in medical technology. It is very temperature-resistant and can be disinfected quickly, safely and almost indefinitely. Silicone is completely tasteless and odourless and remains in good shape even in sunlight and heat, but can be bitten more efficiently. When the first teeth sprout, the teeth should be checked regularly for signs of wear.


Many mothers lick the dropped pacifier before giving it to the baby – for hygiene reasons. Although this “mouth cleaning” removes dirt, dust lint, fungi, and caries, bacteria can be transmitted from the mother to the child. Although the risk is not exceptionally high, keeping the pacifier or other objects that baby puts in his mouth is still better, or you can have a spare with you on the go. For daily care, boil it in a small pot of boiling water.


tooth damage

The little ones often suckle far into kindergarten age. From the age of two at the latest, however, the child should also be able to get by at night without these aids. According to scientists at the University of Iowa, the “nunu” damages teeth. Incorrect bites, protruding canines and displaced molars are more common in pacifier infants than in infants who suck little. Until the jaw shifts through the use of a pacifier, According to a Scandinavian study, it takes two years for changes to appear in the upper jaw and three years for changes in the lower jaw.

Good pacifier or alternative thumb

However, the correct pacifier is always better than the thumb, as this is hard and not “jaw-friendly”. If children suck their thumbs, malformations of the jaw and misaligned teeth can occur, which are complex and time-consuming to regulate, hurt pronunciation and sometimes make biting impossible. The soft material and its optimally adapted shape of the pacifier should minimize these risks.

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