Pacifiers and Young Teeth

There is nothing quite so heart wrenching as the sound of a crying baby. It’s no wonder we use pacifiers and other methods to help soothe our young children. In the early stages of infancy and toddlerhood, pacifiers can be a helpful aid. However, as an infant approaches preschool or every kindergarten, continued pacifier use can create problems with the tooth placement, jaw alignment and even the health of individual teeth. Preventive checkups offer an excellent time to bring your pacifier questions to your child’s pediatric dental expert.

Is It Bad To Use A Pacifier?

It is not bad to use a pacifier, especially with a very young child, or an infant whose teeth have not come in. The sucking sensation can be soothing to a child, and can help comfort a crying baby. One other advantage to a pacifier is that you, as a parent, can gently remove it from your child’s reach, when you decide the time is right (unlike a thumb, which is attached!)

When Should My Child Stop Using a Pacifier?

There is not a single right age. Most pediatric dentist recommend weaning your child from a pacifier habit somewhere between about 3 and by the age of 4 or 5. This allows the jaw to develop and teeth to find their proper natural places, without having a foreign object in the mouth. Surprisingly, the jaw and teeth will change shape or move, to accommodate a pacifier or thumb. This may result in alignment concerns or tooth placement changes that would have to be corrected later.

What If I Have More Questions?

Your pediatric dentist and the knowledgeable dental staff and office team are an excellent source of information on pacifier use and your child’s oral and dental health.

We Can Help You Make Wise Pacifier Choices

There is no one right pacifier answer for every parent and child. If you have pacifier concerns, we want to see you and your child. Schedule a visit with your Dallas, TX children’s dentist, Dr. Marr at Pediatric Dental Care at Casa Linda by calling 214-321-4880. We proudly welcome patients from Dallas, TX, and all surrounding communities, including Casa Linda, Lakewood, Lake Highlands, Forest Hills, East Dallas, Mesquite, Garland, Richardson, and more.


filed under: Family Dentistry