Sucking is a natural and reflexive behavior for babies. Because the sucking motion acts as a natural relaxant, many parents find pacifiers to be a godsend when it comes to helping a child self-soothe. For the most part, this is a harmless and perhaps even helpful tool during the first few years of your child’s life. However, long-term pacifier use can cause teeth development problems, particularly if the behavior is allowed after baby teeth start to fall out.
During your family dentistry visits to our Jersey City area office, we would be happy to discuss proper oral development and work with you and your child on ways to reduce and eventually eliminate pacifier use. Please call 201-792-9400 today to schedule an appointment.
How Pacifiers can Harm Teeth
The use of a pacifier after adult teeth begin to erupt can result in issues including:
- A narrowing of the roof of the mouth
- Jaw misalignment (cross bite)
- A pushing out of the upper teeth (overbite)
- A pushing in of the lower teeth (under bite)
These issues may eventually necessitate orthodontic solutions and can have a negative impact on both your child’s oral development and personal appearance. To avoid these issues, it is best to begin weaning your child from pacifier use around age two.
Thumb sucking, like pacifier use, can damage adult teeth. Some children will naturally gravitate to thumb sucking once a pacifier is taken away. To help avoid this behavior, gradual reduction of pacifier use is recommended. With patience and consistency, you can help your child learn alternative ways to self-sooth, instilling them with new tools and helping preserve proper teeth development.
Our family dentists are also knowledgeable in pediatric dentistry and would be happy to discuss this with you in more detail during your child’s regularly scheduled appointments.
To schedule a family dentistry appointment with one of our experienced dentists, please contact The Practice at Maxwell Place using the form at the right side of the page or call 201-792-9400 today. Our dentists proudly serve families in Jersey City and throughout Hudson County from our comfortable Hoboken, New Jersey office.