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Preventive Dentistry

Time to Pass on the Pacifier
Sep 25, 2019

Pacifiers are a great way to soothe infants and may even help reduce the risk of SIDS. However, pacifiers can also have a negative affect on the growth and development of the teeth and mouth. They may cause distortions in the roof of the mouth or create problems with incoming teeth. If you choose to give your children pacifiers, it is recommended that you stop their usage by the age of two. The use of a pacifier before two years old is not likely to cause damage.

Pacifiers can be a hard habit to break. One creative idea for eliminating pacifiers from the house is to call up the tooth fairy’s cousin, the “Binky Fairy.” The Binky Fairy comes in the middle of the night and collects all the binkies in the house. In return she leaves a wonderful gift to distract your toddler from missing his or her binky. Unfortunately, this idea does not work for all toddlers or come with a back-up plan for post paci-partum.

Other ideas include:

  • Snip the tip of pacifiers to make them less enjoyable
  • Gradually reduce use
  • “Lose” the pacifier on a vacation or trip
  • Take the pacifier away before the toddler stage
  • Make the pacifier taste bad with a little vinegar

The most important (and hardest) part is sticking to your guns and weathering the storm. If you have any concerns about your child’s teeth or possible damage due to pacifier sucking, schedule an appointment with your Dental Care Dentist and we will be happy to examine your child or answer any questions you may have.