Do Pacifiers Hurt Tooth Development? | Lewisville TX Kids Dentist

Do Pacifiers Hurt Tooth Development? | Lewisville TX Kids Dentist

PEDIATRIC DENTIST IN LEWISVILLE, TX
Pediatric Dentist Lewisville
Posted on June 15, 2023

Since 1900, pacifiers have been one of the most common ways to soothe fussy babies, but they can be a difficult habit to break as children get older. Excessive use can cause improper mouth development, which leads to abnormal tooth growth and additional complications later in life. Here is what you need to know about whether pacifiers hurt tooth development and impact a baby’s smile. 

How Pacifiers Affect Teeth

Pacifiers, also called pacis, binkies and dummies, can influence the shape and alignment of a baby’s teeth and jaw. Used excessively and for a long period, they can push the front teeth forward, leading to crooked teeth or overbite. Pacifier use can also change the shape of the roof of the mouth. Using it after the age of six months can lead to a higher risk of otitis media, a common and painful type of ear infection.  

Benefits of Pacifiers

While they may contribute to oral health complications, pacifiers do offer several benefits. The sucking action itself is calming to babies, teaching them to self-soothe and relax. Pacifiers can relieve pain during minor procedures like immunizations and heel sticks, as well as relieve ear pressure during flights. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), pacifier use at night may lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies one to six months of age.

Use Pacifiers in Moderation

The AAP and American Academy of Family Physicians recommend weaning babies from pacifier use at around six months of age. Research shows prolonged use after two years, and definitely after age four, has the most adverse effect on teeth. 

Up to 85 percent of children in the western world use a pacifier at some point, and most do not suffer dental problems as a result. Breaking the habit of pacifier use should begin after six months. The process should be gradual to avoid distressing your child. Talk to our Lewisville TX Pediatric Dentist about the many ways you can wean your baby off of the binky. By following our tips and recommendations, your child can experience the calming effect of pacifiers without developing pacifier teeth.

We also recommend that you visit our office for an examination as soon as your child’s first tooth erupts so we can monitor tooth development. It is never too early to start good dental habits in a child’s life. Call and schedule your child’s next appointment with Lewisville Kids Dentistry today.

Lewisville Kids Dentistry
Phone: (972) 436-9121
501 S Stemmons Fwy
Lewisville, TX 75067

Read Our Lewisville Pediatric Dental News

PEDIATRIC DENTIST in Lewisville, TX

Nurturing Your Baby’s Dental Wellness...

April 1st 2024

Ensuring your infant’s oral health is crucial for their overall well-being. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight tooth decay as a significant childhood disease, surpassing even common conditions like asthma. As a parent, you play a pivotal role in laying the foundation for your child’s lifelong oral health. Here’s how you can...
Read More

How A Musical Instrument Can...

March 15th 2024

A seemingly harmless hobby may actually be putting your child’s oral health at risk. If your child participates in the school band or is learning an instrument at home, there can be underlying health risks. This is particularly true if your child plays instruments such as the flute, saxophone, or clarinet. Instruments that require contact...
Read More

Chewing Gum and Your Oral...

March 1st 2024

Sugary, sticky, and sweet candies can damage your teeth by increasing your risk of decay. Though gum can be considered a type of candy, chewing sugarless gum approved by the ADA can actually help protect teeth and prevent tooth decay. Here’s what you need to know about gum and your teeth. How Gum Prevents Decay ...
Read More