The Link between Pacifier Use After Age 3 and Adverse Effects in Tooth and Jaw Development

 

The Latin root for pacifier is “pax,” or peace—and any parent who has been brought relief from an infant’s screams by that bit of plastic knows why. But when the infant has become a toddler, or even preschooler, getting him or her to forgo the binky for good may feel like a war.

On the one hand—no pun intended—it can be easier to break a child of a pacifier habit than a thumb-sucking habit (you can’t take away a thumb!), so the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that you provide your baby with a safe pacifier in infancy to satisfy her natural need to suck.

But, according to the AAPD, the pacifier habit should be strongly discouraged after age 3. In fact, there’s evidence that the longer a child uses a pacifier after age 2, the greater the chances that his or her jaw and tooth development will be adversely affected and correctable only by orthodontics years later.

If your child is very attached to the pacifier, you may have to employ a creative strategy (or two) in the detachment process. Experienced parents have made the following suggestions:

  • Enlist your dentist’s help. Arrange in advance for your dentist to give your child a special gift in return for her bag of collected binkies.
  • Visit a Build-A-Bear Workshop. Along with the stuffing, fill the bear with the pacifiers. This way, your child still has the binkies, but they won’t be ruining his or her bite.
  • Create a sticker chart. Every binky-free day earns a sticker for your child. A certain number of stickers earn her a special toy.
  • Conduct a visit from the Tooth Fairy’s cousin, the Paci-Fairy. Pacifiers placed under your child’s pillow at night are “miraculously” replaced with something very special by the next morning.

Even if one of these strategies works initially, there is no guarantee that a follow-up tantrum or two won’t erupt. Be sympathetic but staunch, suggests Mark L. Brenner, author of the book Pacifiers, Blankets, Bottles, and Thumbs: What Every Parent Should Know About Starting and Stopping. Most kids, he says, will accept their binky-free state in a couple of days.

We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Childrens Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588Winnipeg Kids Dentist

7 Ways to Protect Your Children’s Teeth

Protecting your child’s teeth from an early age is the best way to minimize tooth- and mouth-related problems as your child grows. Use this seven-step plan to develop an oral hygiene strategy that works for you and your child:

1. See the dentist early. Ideally, your goal should be to take your child to see a dentist by her first birthday.

2. Start brushing with the first tooth. Although many parents may not feel a need to brush a baby’s first teeth, keeping even the earliest teeth clean and healthy is critical to good oral health later on.

3. Reconsider the bedtime bottle. Letting a child take a bottle of juice, formula or milk to bed is an invitation for decay development. If your child must have a bottle, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises filling it only with water.

4. Use sippy cups wisely. Sugary beverages + prolonged use of sippy cups = tooth decay. The AAP also recommends giving children no more than four ounces of 100% fruit juice per day and restricting sugary beverages to mealtimes only. Many pediatricians and pediatric dentists advise giving juice only as a treat.

5. Say “bye-bye” to the binky. Pacifiers may be appropriate for infants and until a child turns two, but after that, the pacifier should be avoided to avoid misalignment of the teeth and jaw, which can promote tooth decay and be costly to correct.

6. Keep an eye on medicines. Many pediatric medicines contain sugar and can promote the growth of bacteria, and prolonged use of antibiotics may cause a fungal infection called thrush. Children using medications to treat chronic conditions are at greater risk for tooth decay, so be sure to discuss these risks with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

7. Stay firm. Although children may complain about brushing and flossing, you’re not doing them any favors by allowing them to avoid good oral care. Get them involved by letting them choose, with your guidance, their own toothpaste or toothbrush, and reward efforts with stickers or other small tokens to keep them motivated.
We care about your child’s dental health 12 months of the year. To maintain proper oral hygiene, we want to keep you informed and provide useful information. We hope you find these articles informative and helpful, and we look forward to seeing you at your child’s next appointment.We care about your child’s dental health 12 months.

For More Information Contact our Winnipeg Dental Office. Its just for Kids! -(204)201-0588

kids dentist Winnipeg

 

Seven Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Seven Ways to Protect Your Child’s Teeth

Winnipeg kids Dentist on Good Dental Habits for kids

7 Steps to protecting your children’s teeth

Protecting your child’s teeth from an early age is the best way to minimize tooth- and mouth-related problems as your child grows. Use this seven-step plan to develop an oral hygiene strategy that works for you and your child:

1. See the dentist early. Ideally, your goal should be to take your child to see a dentist by her first birthday.

2. Start brushing with the first tooth. Although many parents may not feel a need to brush a baby’s first teeth, keeping even the earliest teeth clean and healthy is critical to good oral health later on.

3. Reconsider the bedtime bottle. Letting a child take a bottle of juice, formula or milk to bed is an invitation for decay development. If your child must have a bottle, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises filling it only with water.

4. Use sippy cups wisely. Sugary beverages + prolonged use of sippy cups = tooth decay. The AAP also recommends giving children no more than four ounces of 100% fruit juice per day and restricting sugary beverages to mealtimes only. Many pediatricians and pediatric dentists advise giving juice only as a treat.

5. Say “bye-bye” to the binky. Pacifiers may be appropriate for infants and until a child turns two, but after that, the pacifier should be avoided to avoid misalignment of the teeth and jaw, which can promote tooth decay and be costly to correct.

6. Keep an eye on medicines. Many pediatric medicines contain sugar and can promote the growth of bacteria, and prolonged use of antibiotics may cause a fungal infection called thrush. Children using medications to treat chronic conditions are at greater risk for tooth decay, so be sure to discuss these risks with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

7. Stay firm. Although children may complain about brushing and flossing, you’re not doing them any favors by allowing them to avoid good oral care. Get them involved by letting them choose, with your guidance, their own toothpaste or toothbrush, and reward efforts with stickers or other small tokens to keep them motivated.

Dr M.B. Vodrey is a children’s dentist in Winnipeg Manitoba