Here at Playtime Dental, our number one goal is to make sure your child’s mouth stays healthy. It’s never too early to start taking proper care of your child’s mouth, and if you have any questions about oral health, we are here to give you answers. One such question that you might have is, “are pacifiers a problem?” The answer to this concern is two-fold.
Problems with Long-Term Pacifier Use
For the first few years of your child’s life, using a pacifier usually won’t lead to any oral damage. On the other hand, if your child refuses to give up the pacifier, or if it is not taken away by the age of three, long-term suckling will definitely cause damage. This is especially true if your child is still suckling on a pacifier once he or she starts loosing baby teeth. Some of the negative effects endured from long-term pacifier use include:
· The top front teeth will tip outward and/or not erupt correctly
· The bottom front teeth will tip inward and/or not erupt correctly
· The jaws can become misaligned causing bite problems
· The permanent teeth will come in crooked.
Things to Remember
It’s very common for infants and young children to suck on pacifiers. If your child does, you need to make sure that the pacifier is constructed of one piece only. If it’s made of two or more parts, or the shield part of the pacifier is smaller than the mouth, it is a choking hazard.
Also, make sure that you don’t fasten the pacifier to a string and attach it to your child’s shirt. The string could get tangled or caught on something and injure your child.
Lastly, although you may have heard of dipping a pacifier into some type of sweet substance, such as honey, to calm your child when he or she is crying, you should avoid doing this because it can lead to tooth decay.
Contact Playtime Dental Today
Always do your best to provide positive reinforcement when trying to get your child to give up his or her pacifier. Also, make sure your child visits a general or kid’s dentist on a regular basis. The doctors here at Playtime Dental will be more than happy to evaluate your child’s oral health.