Can a Pacifier Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Can a Pacifier Affect My Child’s Teeth?
Posted on 01/17/2018
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Here at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart, we’ve made it our goal to set children on the path toward a lifetime of healthy smiles. We pride ourselves on our effective dental treatments and early dental care that can assist us in achieving that goal. However, it’s just as important for you to take the effort to provide great oral hygiene and care for your child’s teeth in between visits to his or her dentist. This doesn’t only consist of cleaning your child’s teeth. It can include monitoring certain oral habits, such as the usage of a pacifier. Just about everyone with a child has probably grown very familiar with the benefits of a pacifier – most notably being that it can be used to calm fussy infants and toddlers. However, you may not be as aware of the effect that pacifiers can have on a child’s teeth.

 

How Pacifiers Can Affect Your Child’s Teeth

 

While it’s true that pacifiers can provide many benefits for your child, they can also have their downsides – the main one being that it can cause tooth decay. You may be surprised to hear that tooth decay doesn’t naturally occur in a child’s mouth – it’s caused because of outside influences. For example, if you put the pacifier in your mouth before giving it to your baby, it can introduce bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some parents might even dip the pacifier in some kind of sweet or sugary liquid, which may cause the same problem.

 

Additionally, prolonged usage of a pacifier can cause bite problems, changes in jaw alignment, crooked teeth, and upper front teeth that tip forward. While sucking on a pacifier is beneficial, you’ll want to wean your child off of it before too long.

 

Properly Using a Pacifier

To use a pacifier properly, you’ll want to follow these simple guidelines.

 

  • You should use a one-piece pacifier that has no moving parts or liquid interior.
  • The nipple of the pacifier should be made of silicon as it harbors fewer germs.
  • Make sure that the pacifier has a shield that’s wider than your baby’s mouth.
  • Don’t attach the pacifier to anything else by using a cord, a string, or a similar attachment.
  • Don’t leave your baby unattended if there’s a pacifier in his or her mouth.
  • If the pacifier has become cracked, swollen, sticky, or discolored, get rid of it.
  • Please talk to your dentist or pediatrician if your child is still using a pacifier by the age of three. 

Contact Your Palm City, FL Children’s Dentist!

 

If you have any further questions about pacifier usage for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know. We at Children’s Dentistry of Stuart will be glad to assist you with any of your concerns. If you’d like to schedule a visit, feel free to fill out our online appointment request form. We hope to hear from you soon and help place your child on the path toward a lifetime of healthy smiles!