Pacifiers and bottles are an important and necessary part of most children’s infancy in many countries around the world, but there are certain dangers that stem from overuse. The older the child gets, the greater the risk of them harming their incoming teeth becomes from pacifier habits. Their dental development is likely to suffer in cases where the use of pacifier is prolonged, negatively impacting the child’s incoming teeth.
Effects Of A Pacifier
There is a right time to withdraw the pacifier for good to save our children’s oral health from suffering. Even if we’re a little late in breaking this habit, we shouldn’t fret because we still have time to help them quit before the age of 2. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, it is crucial for our children to quit pacifiers and thumb sucking before, at least, the age of 4. We must allow the body to fix any damages incurred from persistent sucking before their growing teeth appear. The long term use of pacifiers affects the alignment of the teeth in the following ways:
The front teeth’s movement is affected and caused to become crooked resulting in protrusive upper front teeth.
The back and front teeth appear tipped.
The front teeth may not meet the bottom teeth when the mouth is closed, causing bite problems.
Crossbite is also likely to occur, which is a misalignment of the teeth in which a tooth’s position is more buccal or lingual, meaning the tooth or teeth are closer to the tongue or cheek.
Breaking the Habit
Most children may stop thumb sucking or taking pacifiers on their own, but this may not be the case with everyone. To effectively bring an end to this habit, you can try some of these tips:
Dip the pacifier in vinegar before giving it to the child. This way, the child will eventually cease wanting pacifiers.
Minimize the duration of pacifier sucking by distracting the child to other things. When a child is in his toddler years, he spends more time exploring things and his habit of pacifier sucking can gradually subside.
Discourage the habit by praising and rewarding the child whenever he abstains from taking a pacifier.
If you haven’t been able to curb these habits in time and our children’s teeth have been affected, you can consult the experts at Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dental to offer superior children dental services and support for a future of great oral health!