Worried About Your Baby’s Pacifier Habit?
Do you spend a lot of time worrying about your baby’s undying love for his pacifier? Does he go to sleep with it, cry for it when he wakes up, and freak out if it’s dropped for even a second? Maybe your child sucks his or her thumb religiously, instead, much to your chagrin. The good news is that, in most cases, the use of pacifiers or thumb sucking is not a cause for alarm. Many babies self soothe through these means, without any detrimental affects to their dental or overall health. That said, when it comes to your baby’s precious smile, any questions or concerns you have are best posed to your children’s dentist, who is the best ally you have in helping to protect your child’s teeth and gums, long-term.
When to Be Concerned
Most children outgrow thumb sucking or pacifier usage, often on their own, without any damage to their dental health. That said, there are a few reasons to be concerned.
- If your child is five or six, and still using a pacifier or thumb sucking to self soothe, it could begin to cause misalignment of the teeth.
- If your child is sucking particularly hard this could also be a warning of trouble.
- As children begin to develop their speech, thumb sucking can sometimes be a hindrance or lead to speech development issues.
- If you are concerned about your child’s smile, for any reason, don’t be afraid to talk to his or her pediatric dentist.
- Keep in mind that every child over a year old needs to see the dentist regularly, for routine exams. These are great opportunities to ask any questions you might have about teeth development, and other oral health concerns.