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When Should Your Child Stop Using a Pacifier

Posted on 7/26/2021 by Nam Thien Vu, DDS
When Should Your Child Stop Using a PacifierPacifiers can be soothing to your baby, but they can lead to dental problems when used for too long. Prolonged use of a pacifier can make your baby's mouth grow improperly, making it necessary to provide them with orthodontic care as they grow. If your baby is currently using a pacifier, you need to know when to stop it and how to wean them off.

When to Stop

After a certain amount of time, pacifiers start affecting your baby's teeth. However, by that time, the child will be used to it. Therefore, you need to come up with ways you can break this habit.

Generally, the child should stop using a pacifier when they turn four years old. When they approach this age, choose a time to start weaning them off it before impactful life events start happening. In most cases, kids cling to pacifiers because they are comforting. Therefore, you need to be careful about when to start the weaning process. You can start by gradually limiting the use instead of stopping it at once. Use other alternatives to soothe the child, such as playing calm music or cuddling them as they fall asleep.

Dangers of Pacifiers

Continued use of pacifiers can result in conditions like "the pacifier teeth." This is a condition that can cause serious dental problems in the future. For example, pacifiers can cause teeth to become slanted and crooked as the baby grows. This can cause problems with jaw alignment as well as teeth alignment. Furthermore, prolonged use of a pacifier can also alter the roof of the mouth. This is why it is important to wean your child on time.

Avoid making your baby dependent on the pacifier for comfort; instead, try other alternatives like singing lullabies. For more information on pacifiers and when the child should stop using them, contact our offices.

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