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What about Pacifiers?

What about Pacifiers?
Posted on 10/31/2018

Frequently, moms and dads – worry about their kids' pacifier use. Am I using the right kind? Do they cause long term problems? When should I get rid of it? How do I do that?

Pacifiers, when used all day long for prolonged periods, do two things: they flare a child’s top front teeth out, causing an overbite, and more importantly, they can change the shape of the child’s upper jaw bone itself. They will cause the bone to curve up and flare forward so the bone and top teeth look like a frown. This is not the look that any of us want for our children. The good news is that any harm that has been done is completely reversible if you stop the pacifier use.

I normally recommend that after one year of age, you leave the pacifier in bed and only use it for sleeping. After two years, it is time to get rid of it.

An effective way is to leave it for Santa in exchange for all of the wonderful things that he gives you. Or you just let it “disappear” one day. You will think that your child will never go to sleep again, but you will be surprised. After about two days, they won’t even miss it.

It is much harder to stop pacifier use if the child walks around with it in his/her mouth all day long or you continue the use until they are 4 years old. It has then turned into a serious habit and much more damage has been done.

The really good news is that even if they don’t stop until 5 years old, we can correct any damage they have done. I have often gone with the theory that orthodontics is cheaper than a psychiatrist, and if the pacifier keeps your sanity during those early years, go ahead and use it. We can fix them up later.

King & McCune Orthodontics

  • King & McCune Orthodontics - 3401 Northside Pkwy. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30327 Phone: (404) 233-1972

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