Have you ever heard that using a pacifier is a bad thing? Have you ever been told that using a pacifier could actually damage your little one’s teeth? While this is partially true, giving your child a pacifier while they’re young won’t hurt their teeth. However, it may be important for you help your child stop using a pacifier after a few years.
If your child keeps their pacifier or too long, their front teeth could slant outwards or their bottom teeth inwards. Similarly, your child’s upper and lower jaws could become misaligned, and the roof of their mouth may even become narrower from side to side.
Your child will typically give up on their pacifier on their own when they are between two and four years old. If your child hasn’t given up on their pacifier by the time they’re four, you may have to take the pacifiers away yourself. You could simply throw the pacifiers away (but you might want to ensure you find them all as children have been known to hide pacifiers from their parents)!
However, many parents find that weaning gradually or limiting pacifier use to naps and bedtime is less stressful. If your child becomes fussy, you can offer them a stuffed toy or rock them to soothe them.
If you have any questions about your child’s dental health or oral development, we invite you to call our dental office in Mesa, Arizona, a call at 480-830-8946 today. Dr. Kent Stapley and Dr. Nathan Kitchen are happy to help your family achieve their best smile health!