Babies and Pacifiers: The Impact of Pacifiers on Teeth

Just as thumb sucking can affect dental health, pacifiers can also have an impact on your child’s teeth. Using a pacifier (also known as a soother) in moderation is generally fine. In fact, a soother may actually provide a viable alternative to thumb sucking. A pacifier is easier for a parent to monitor than a thumb, which could be placed in the mouth at any time. Your family dentist in Red Deer can help you to decide whether it is time to wean your child off the pacifier. This is why routine checkups are essential at every age. Getting your child to the dentist early in life is the best plan. This will enable the dentist to keep a close watch on your child’s oral health. If problems begin to occur, they may be managed as soon as they are identified.

Best Practices for Babies and Pacifiers

Giving your child a pacifier is not a bad idea, but you do need to be on the lookout for certain patterns. Consider these factors when monitoring your baby’s usage of this oral soother. Additionally, remember to schedule periodic dental visits for your little one.

  • Moderation: If you give your baby a soother, try to do so only at certain times. This will discourage your child from growing too dependent on the item. You might establish a rule that you only give the pacifier to your child at night, in order to avoid chronic usage. 
  • Prolonged Use: If your child uses a pacifier for too long or too often, a variety of oral and speech problems might begin to develop. You child’s teeth can actually start to grow crooked from sucking on it too much. The jaw could also be adversely affected by this habit. Another thing to avoid is allowing your child to continue using a pacifier for too many years. If you have trouble figuring out the best course of action, be sure to consult your family dentist in Red Deer
  • Weaning: After examining your child’s teeth, the dentist might suggest weaning your baby off the pacifier. Do this with patience and understanding. You might treat the event as a special occasion, and hold a small family party for your child once she or he is done with the soother for good. Another tactic is to tell your child that the “Pacifier Fairy” removed the item, and that the fairy left behind a special toy in its place. Stay positive about the process, and your child will eventually follow your lead.

Dental Visits for Children in Red Deer

Using a pacifier will not automatically impact a baby’s teeth. However, the improper or prolonged use of a soother can lead to serious oral health problems, so your child should not use such an item indefinitely. Take your baby to see the dentist on a regular basis, so problems can be identified, monitored, and corrected. Our Red Deer dentists at Parkland Mall Dental Centre are ready to address the dental needs of your child.

Contact us today at 403-342-1118 for a checkup. New dental patients might wish to use our online contact form, and we will be happy to provide more information about the services offered at Parkland Mall Dental Centre.