Pacifier or thumb?

As late as the 1940s, infants in Germany were given pacifiers (zuzel) to calm down, in which overzealous mothers stuffed sweet biscuit porridge. The result: Immediately the first milk teeth were attacked by decay. In 1949, Professor Wilhelm Baltes and dr. Adolf Müller the "natural and orthodontic pacifier and Kieferformer", which should prevent tooth damage. As a dentist, Müller had also often had to treat children with jaw and dentition misalignments that had been caused by thumb sucking. Children who had been breastfed for a long time showed hardly any deformations. So Müller developed together with the orthodontist Baltes a prosthesis made of flexible rubber, which was similar to the mother's breast and was adapted with its beveled tip of the palate shape.

The optimal form

The modern pacifier consists essentially of a mouthpiece made of latex or silicone and a shield that prevents ingestion of the mouthpiece. The ideal sucker exerts little pressure on the jaw, leaves the tongue enough leeway and does not disturb the child when swallowing.

Silicone or latex?

... that usually decides the taste of the child. If the pacifier does not taste, it is simply spit out. Latex is made of natural rubber milk, contains fats, feels very soft, and is extremely resistant to biting and cracking. A latex pacifier, however, is also faster unsightly. An exchange after about six to eight weeks is advisable. Some babies are allergic to the proteins contained in the latex (proteins).

Silicone is a commonly used material in medical technology, which is very temperature resistant and therefore can be disinfected easily, safely and almost unlimited times. Silicone is completely tasteless and odorless and stays in good shape even in sunlight and heat, but can be bitten through faster. When the first teeth sprout, regular check of the teat for signs of wear is required.


Many mothers lick the dropped pacifier before giving it to the baby - for reasons of hygiene. Although this "mouth cleansing" removes dirt, dust and lint, fungus and, above all, caries bacteria can be transferred from the mother to the child, although the risk is not particularly high, but it is still better to have the pacifier or other objects take the baby in the mouth, wash it off, or have a substitute for you on the way.For daily care, boil in a small pot of boiling water.

tooth damage

Often, the little ones suckle far into the kindergarten age. At the latest from the second year of life, however, the child should also be able to get along at night without these aids. According to scientists from the University of Iowa, the "Nunu" harms the teeth: False bites, protruding canines and displacements of the molars are more common in pacifier children than in children who suck on little until the jaw shifts through the use of a pacifier. But it takes time, according to a Scandinavian study, two years pass before changes in the upper jaw, three years, until changes in the lower jaw.

Good pacifier or alternative thumb

The right pacifier is better than the thumb, because it is hard and not "jaw-shaped". If children are sucking on their thumbs, jaw malformations and malocclusions can occur, which are very time-consuming and tedious to regulate, have a negative impact on the pronunciation and sometimes make biting impossible. The soft material and its optimally adapted shape of the pacifier are designed to minimize these risks.

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