Like many parents, you might have occasionally given your baby a pacifier. That’s only natural – the device is a great way to soothe fussy infants and help them calm down. However, you might wonder, “Will a pacifier affect your baby’s teeth?” After all, one can easily think it’d alter a still-forming smile. Well, your Fort Washington dentist is here to answer your question. Read on to learn how pacifiers put baby teeth at risk and how to use them responsibly.
How Are Pacifiers Risky for Baby Teeth?
If you’re not careful, a pacifier can cause problems for your baby’s teeth. In particular, it might trigger the following:
Bite Misalignment (“Pacifier Teeth”)
Should your baby use a pacifier past the toddler stage, they could develop “pacifier teeth.” This condition occurs when the sucking action leads to dental misalignment.
Unfortunately, pacifiers can affect mouth growth and tooth position. Using one too often will force a child’s teeth to move or shape their palate. In that case, your baby may develop front teeth that don’t meet in a closed mouth or worse.
Gingival Recession & Cavities
Pacifier use can cause gingival recession and cavities. Should that happen, your infant’s smile would be greatly harmed and need immediate treatment.
Still, these conditions are far rarer than pacifier teeth. They only occur in extreme cases. For example, the issues can stem from parents dipping pacifiers in sweet stuff.
How Do You Use Pacifiers Responsibly?
Thankfully, you can use a pacifier responsibly and avoid the risks above. You just need to remember the tips below:
- Observe Your Baby’s Sucking: Watch over your baby and note how intensely they suck a pacifier. If they passively place it in their mouth, oral issues are less likely. Meanwhile, vigorous sucking is risky.
- Make the Pacifier Safer: Don’t give your child a pacifier with removable parts or liquid interiors. Furthermore, clean the one your baby does use and never dip it in sweet liquids.
- Break the Pacifier Habit: If you notice changes in your child’s teeth, visit your pediatric dentist. They can suggest ways to break the pacifier habit.
Ultimately, a pacifier can affect your baby’s teeth if you’re careless. That said, remember the tips above so your little one’s smile develops nicely.
About the Practice
Upper Dublin Pediatric Dentistry is based in Fort Washington, PA. Led by Dr. Natalie Gardner, our practice offers the best in pediatric dental care. Our team thus offers high-quality preventive and emergency dentistry for kids, as well as sedation services that treat dental anxiety. Whether they’re a baby or a teen, then, we’ll make your little one’s smile thrive! For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (402)-773-7873.