Pacifiers and your Pediatric Dentist

Pacifiers and your Pediatric Dentist

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends discontinuing a Pacifier use by the age of 2. Pacifiers used past the age of 2 can start to change a child’s bite and affect the jaw formation. For this reason the earlier the habit is stopped the better chance a child’s jaw can grow and develop to their full potential. What can you do to help your child break the habit?

Step 1: Get your Pediatric Dentist involved

Getting your Pediatric Dentist involved can be a huge asset to helping your child break a pacifier habit. A discussion with parents and the child can help them understand the reason why pacifier use is discouraged.

Step 2: Offer alternatives

It’s understandable that a child has to sooth. Sometimes alternatives can help a child wean the habit for example, switching from a pacifier to a blanket. A similar method can be used with thumb sucking such as switching from a thumb with a pinky finger to a blanket to nothing.

Step 3: A Good-bye pacifier party

Some kids to great with a pacifier party trading in that pacifier for a large present or gift.

Step 4: Countdown method

A countdown method is slowly cutting the tip off of the pacifier and progressively making the pacifier smaller.

What works best?

A child has to be ready and willing to stop using a pacifier. Children are brilliant at understand what is right and wrong and we have found that speaking with the child is usually the most effective way of having them wean off the habit. Whether, that is a pacifier or thumb sucking. We have found with proper behavioral modification techniques through understanding conversations we have been 99% successful in having children wean off of pacifiers and stop habits. It’s extremely rare to have to place an appliance inside a child’s mouth to force them to stop.