At Advanced Dentistry of Long Island we love babies! We know that lots of babies love their pacifiers. However, pacifiers and teeth development are often at odds.
Pacifiers have a calming effect for many babies and can be a big help for parents. However, as a child gets older and the pacifier habit doesn’t seem to be tapering off, mom and dad can begin to worry. While a pacifier can help keep your baby calm and comfortable, it isn’t so great for the healthy development of teeth and the surrounding bone. In order to ensure proper teeth development, we recommend you try to wean your child off the pacifier by about age two.
PACIFIERS & EAR INFECTIONS
Another concern is that pacifier use may cause middle ear infections in some children. When continuously sucking on a pacifier, a child’s auditory tubes stay open and that makes it easier for moisture from the throat to seep into the middle ear. Bacteria involved in this process can cause middle ear infections.
Don’t wait until your child is over 2-years old before you start the weaning process. How to wean? Here are some tips that we recommend so that the pacifier does not hamper healthy teeth development in your children:
- Dip the pacifier in vinegar or another sour tasting substance
- Accidently (on purpose) lose it
- Only let your child use it at night
- Go cold turkey (good luck!)
- Let nature take its course – your child will likely give up the pacifier when he or she becomes aware that it’s “only for babies”
Need more help or more information about pacifiers and the development of teeth in your child? Simply call the office at 516-921-8010 to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting your entire family!