Helpful Pediatric Dentistry Tips!

When To Break The Pacifier Habit

by Dr. Steve Whittemore, D.D.S. | Published February 2, 2018

As a parent, it’s hard to see your baby grow older. In a perfect world your baby would stay the same age as he/she is and you would never have to worry about them growing up. Sadly, that is not reality. As your child’s body changes with time, it’s important that their habits change with them for proper development. One of the most common questions that parents have is figuring out when is the best time to pull the pacifier from your child. We at Pediatric Dentistry would like to take the time to explain the importance of a pacifier and why it’s even more important to stop using it in a specific time frame.

Benefits of a Pacifier

When most babies are born, they develop a fixation that they use to help them attempt to understand the environment around them. For many babies, this comes in the form of sucking on object. It is common for a baby or toddler to grow an emotional connection with their pacifier as it helps them relax and serve as a distraction to a stressful situation. In fact, the Mayo Clinic has even reported a correlation between the use of pacifiers and reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). There is no denying that pacifiers are a must have for any parent and a great outlet of pleasure for most infants. So, why would we rush to stop using them?

Pacifiers and Dental Health

When a child uses a pacifier for the first 18-24 months of their life, there is no need to worry about their teeth being affected by it. However, between the ages of 2-4, your child’s teeth will start to settle and the constant use of a pacifier can disrupt proper tooth maturity. By the age of 4, your child should be entirely off of the dependency of a pacifier. Not only will there be dental repercussions, but it can become hard for your child to emotionally let go of using a pacifier, leading to rash behavior when they can’t use one.

Pediatric Dentistry – Your Des Moines & Ankeny Dentistry For Kids

If you are having trouble getting your kid to dispose of their pacifier, schedule an appointment with us and we can help your child understand the importance of losing the pacifier. If you haven’t scheduled your child for a dental exam and cleaning, set up a time to have your kid come in. Are you new to the Des Moines area and looking for a trustworthy pediatric dentist? We love having new patients! Feel free to fill out our new patient form with all the information you can provide, we’ll see you then!

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