Why Are Pacifier Habits Bad?

Team Blog Post

Young children love pacifiers, but while they may be comforting, they do pose a few dangers when it comes to developing a healthy smile as an adult. The effects are actually very similar to thumb-sucking, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid giving your baby a pacifier all together! We will dive a bit deeper into how it affects teeth and what parents should do instead, below.

How do pacifiers affect development?As your child’s mouth develops, the jaw grows around anything that is fixed in place — like developing teeth. However, with extended pacifier use, the jaw development becomes inhibited, as the body starts to also develop around the “fixed” pacifier. The front teeth may tip forward around the pacifier, teeth can become crooked and they may develop bite problems.

What should you do instead?
Pacifiers are still a safe and comforting solution for babies. In fact, they are highly recommended at a young age! However, it’s important that parents eventually wean them off. Children shouldn’t be reliant on pacifiers by the age of two,  when they had is beginning to develop more fully.
When you start to wean them off, be sure to praise your child when he or she doesn’t use a pacifier and use a reward system to encourage good behavior!If you have any questions at all about how to care for your child’s smile, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our three long island offices. We are here to answer all of your questions and ensure that your child’s smile is beautiful and healthy.