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Immunity v. cavities: The clean pacifier debate

Last week's buzz about the potential health benefits of spit-shining your baby's pacifier got me thinking about how much conflicting advice there is out there in the world of raising children.

While it stands to reason that exposure to a moderate amount of germs might boost immunity and prepare baby for life in the real world outside the sterile nursery, I seem to remember also recently hearing about how swapping saliva with a baby (via spit-shining, sharing a spoon, straw or food, etc…) can also pass along the bacteria that lead to cavities. And while baby teeth are temporary, tooth decay can stick around for the long haul.

Turns out the American Dental Association was quick to issue a statement on the matter.

So, what's a mom to do?!

Luckily, Danielle loved a pacifier for all of about one week, so it's not a major part of our daily lives. But she and daddy do love to share a banana in the morning.

You can read more about the pro-saliva Swedish study in Pediatrics here, and the ADA's rebuttal here.

What other conflicting advice have you encountered in your adventures as parents?

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