The Time “Healthland” blog reports that pacifiers “can be teeming with bacteria, yeast and mold that can actually sicken babies rather than soothe them,” according to research recently presented at the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s annual meeting.
After examining 10 pacifiers used by healthy infants, researchers found that “pacifiers breed biofilms, a slimy slick of bacteria that can affect the healthy balance of microbes in a baby’s mouth.”
Biofilms on the pacifiers “can potentially increase the likelihood of colic or ear infections and could possibly heighten the risk of allergies or asthma,” explained Dr. R. Tom Glass, of Oklahoma State University, who led the study. Glass recommended that parents wash pacifiers thoroughly and replace them every two weeks.
Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.