We all like to give our babies and toddlers a pacifier; it soothes them, helps them sleep, and is a good way to keep them occupied when you’ve got something else to be getting on with! However, you may be asking yourself right now whether or not a pacifier can affect the formation of teeth.
Well, the answer to this question can be a little more complex to answer, and you should absolutely get in touch with a dentist if you’re worried. But the short version is: yes, and here are the reasons why. Always consult with a dentist, such as Kids 4 Ever Pediatric Dentistry, for the most up-to-date information.
Short Term Pacifier Use Can Be Good
Giving a baby or a young child a pacifier to suck on is a time-honored tradition, and it’s a great way to enrich your child’s life at a young age. And in the short term, this can be a good thing. It helps to keep children calm at an age when they can be easily overstimulated. Additionally, it’s most useful when helping your baby to sleep during the laborious developmental period of learning to sleep the whole night through.
The Dangers of Prolonged Pacifier Use
However, allowing a baby or young child to keep on using a pacifier beyond the age of four can be very bad for the development of healthy teeth, gums, and even the mouth itself. It’s recommended that you start weaning your child off of a pacifier when they reach the age of three. This is mainly to prevent any oral health issues from arising at a young age.
For the best results, only offer the pacifier at night. Specifically, while you may believe a pacifier is a harmless toy that brings your child joy, prolonged use can lead to serious issues:
The Development of Pacifier Teeth
If the use of a pacifier is allowed to continue beyond the key age, your child may grow what’s known as ‘pacifier teeth.’ Pacifier teeth are a common malocclusion in children; this means their teeth have grown around the use of a pacifier, which can lead to your baby developing an underbite, overbite, or crowded teeth.
This condition denotes teeth that haven’t had enough room to grow separately, have essentially grown over each other, and look twisted and warped in the mouth. This will need correcting later on in life, which can be very expensive for you, and very painful and confusing for your child.
It’s Time to Bring Your Child to the Dentist
To prevent ‘pacifier teeth’ from occurring in the first place, or affecting your child too much in the long term, bring them along to Kids 4 Ever Pediatric Dentistry, where we can help you make informed decisions about your little ones’ oral health.
If you’re worried about how your baby’s pacifier will affect the formation of teeth, book an appointment with one of our Pediatric Dentists, who can offer plenty of advice and actionable solutions. We know just how delicate children’s oral health can be, and we want to make this element of their care easier for you. To schedule an appointment or learn about how we can help, call us today at 832-300-8444.