More than one parent has asked if a pacifier is bad for their infant’s teeth development. To some extent, the answer is yes. Pacifiers cause problems for the development of the mouth and teeth. Before we go on a long process of explaining why pacifiers are bad for your child’s mouth and teeth, we’ll also tell you there are some benefits for the use of a pacifier. For one, pacifiers are comforting for baby. Studies show that pacifiers reduce the chances for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. So before you condemn the pacifier, know that it does have its place.
Pacifier Baby Teeth Condition
Sucking on pacifiers or fingers can lead to problems during development. If long term use of a pacifier is promoted, this will lead to the condition known as pacifier teeth. As your baby and toddler mature physically, their jaw will develop around any object that’s in the child’s mouth continually. This includes pacifiers, thumb, or fingers. Long term sucking can change the roof of the mouth. It will become narrower and will not give the teeth the proper room to drop. In turn, it will cause them to overlap and come in crooked. The top and bottom jaw sometimes become misaligned, making it difficult to chew. This doesn’t just affect your child’s eating, but also their speech making it difficult to articulate their words. The other teeth defect that pacifiers commonly cause is to make the front teeth slant out and the bottom teeth tilt inward. This can be difficult to correct. The process is expensive and will require a lot of time.
Pacifier Baby Age Appropriate Range
Keep in mind pacifiers are not a bad thing. It is all right to allow your child to suck on a pacifier until they are one year old. Some will say even two years is okay. Even though some babies will drop teeth as early as three months old, long term damage still happens as the child continues to suck on a pacifier past the age of two.
Pacifier Weaning; Breaking the Habit in Toddlers
Breaking the habit of pacifier sucking can be a hard and aggravating time for both parents and child. This is one of the top reasons children suck on a pacifier far too long. The hassle of breaking a habit that helps keep your child quiet and calm, is not at the top of most parents’ list. Another mistake parents make is replacing one bad habit with another bad habit. Parent will try to swap out a pacifier for a juice cup, bribing the child with something that tastes good to keep them distracted from their pacifier. Keep in mind that juice and other sweet drinks should be given in moderation. Too much will lead to tooth decay and cavities. A surprisingly good alternative is an electric tooth brush. When it vibrates it’s difficult to suck, yet the child likes the sensation and gets distracted by it. Also it will start to introduce the tooth brush and help keep their teeth clean.
Pediatric Dental Care
Pacifiers have their place in our child’s life. But at some point, parents will need to remove it. Smile Reef hopes this helps the concerned parent know when pacifiers no longer benefits your child and wishes you luck in breaking those early life habits.