Pacifiers: How You Clean Them Impacts Allergies

Popping your baby’s pacifier in your mouth to clean it might sound gross to some people, but a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting suggests that the practice might actually prevent allergies in your baby and improve their immune system.

Of all the mothers in the study who reported pacifier use by their children, only 12 percent said that they sucked on their baby’s pacifier to clean it. And yet, the children of these mothers had suppressed IgE levels starting around 10 months of age. IgE is an antibody in the blood that is an indicator of possible allergies later in life. People with higher IgE levels are more likely to develop food and environmental allergies.

More research needs to be completed, but it would appear that the mothers who suck on their children’s pacifiers to clean them are transferring health-promoting microbes to their children and improving their immune system. It is unclear whether the suppressed IgE levels in these children will continue, however.

Pacifiers and Your Children

Improving a child’s immune system could be another benefit to giving a baby a pacifier, but most Upper East Side kids dentists warn that they should be used with caution. Speak to your New York dentist for advice about how often a child should be using a pacifier and when they should stop altogether. If you have any additional questions about your child’s dental health or how it can impact their immune system, Dr. Shiva Basir will be happy to answer them for you.