Pacifiers are used by many infants and children, and they offer comfort and reduce stress. Pacifiers are great when children are young, but many parents wonder when it is appropriate to wean their child off of the pacifier. Using a pacifier can cause issues with a child’s mouth, jaw, and teeth if it is used too long.
At Junior Smiles Pediatric Dentistry we work with our patients and parents to help give you tips and tricks to help scale back on pacifier use, and eventually stop using it completely. We understand how important pacifier use is for infants and toddlers, but is also very important to take the pacifier away to prevent issues from developing in the future.
What are tips to help my child stop using a pacifier?
Each child is different and what you do for one child may not work for another. We recommend parents do what is best for their child, and we help parents by recommending behavior modifications to help with the process. Finding the perfect time is important, and parents should look at what is going on in the child’s life while weaning them off of the pacifier. Getting creative can help, and parents need to find new ways to comfort their child. Providing your child with incentives is important, and always using positive reinforcement to let them know they are doing great will make the process easier.
What issues can a pacifier cause?
A pacifier provides soothing comfort to a child, and when a child is born the sucking reflex is natural. The perfect time for a child to stop using a pacifier is between the ages of two and four. If a child continues to use a pacifier beyond this age range their jaw or bite could be compromised.
Pacifiers can cause children to develop an over bite, or affect how their teeth erupt in the mouth. Orthodontic treatment is common for children who have used a pacifier. Weaning your child off of a pacifier should be done as early as possible because as the child grows older, breaking the habit will become more difficult.
Interested in finding out more?
If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child, or you would like to find out more about the benefits of weaning a child off of the pacifier, contact Junior Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. We provide the very best care, and our practice is equipped with the latest technology. Learning about good oral hygiene habits at an early age can set the stage for the future, and help your child develop good habits.
To schedule an appointment contact Junior Smiles Pediatric Dentistry and our friendly staff will be happy to help you.