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Are Pacifiers Really Bad?


Posted on 4/11/2022 by Fariba Mutschler
Are Pacifiers Really Bad?Fingers, thumbs, pacifiers – Oh My! They are good, but they can harm your kid's oral health. New parents have many questions about what is best for the oral health of their babies. One of the questions they pose to dentists is; are pacifiers really that awful and what are the cons and pros of letting and now letting their toddlers have a pacifier?

The Good


Well, pacifiers aren't always bad. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry appreciates that finger-sucking, thumb-sucking, and even pacifier usage is pretty normal for toddlers and young kids. The habit offers comfort and security by making the little ones interact and interrelate with the world. And did you know that toddlers start sucking their thumbs and finger before they are even born?

Pacifiers are helpful when toddlers are upset because of things like teething, sleepiness, illness, or colic. They can also help create a distraction to the baby during dental exams or even doctor's shots. Additionally, pacifiers can help during flights when changes in pressure cause the ears to hurt. Some babies tend to be lured to sleep by sucking on their pacifiers. The motion created when sucking on the pacifier helps the baby to relax and self-soothe.

The Bad and the Ugly


If babies continue with the habit of sucking pacifiers or fingers for a long duration, it may contribute to dental problems in the long term. Most kids stop finger and thumb-sucking or the use of pacifiers on their own by the age of around 2 to 4. However, if the habit is more pronounced, frequent, forceful, and lasts a long period, you may notice the front teeth of the kid start to shift. As a result, an open bite begins to appear. This is often due to alteration of the jaw and bone growth, leading to interruption of the proper eruption of the kids' teeth.

Besides, pacifiers are likely to introduce germs and dirt in the mouth of the baby. So make sure you sterilize them frequently, and when it is time to stop using them, make effort to ensure the kid stops. But remember it can be difficult for the kid to stop using pacifiers or thumb-sucking. Seek help from our pediatric dentist if pacifiers are causing pacifier teeth or creating other problems. Schedule an appointment.


My daughter was a little nervous to have her dental work done but everyone in the office was super friendly and very reassuring and that helped her nervousness go away. Thanks for the excellent dental experience. ~ Lilyana G.


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Dr. Fariba Mutschler & Dr. Mark Mutschler have created this informative blog to help educate the community. If you like an article or the dental blog in general please use the share it button to post to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.
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