Pacifiers and Your Child’s Development | 20003 Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentist 20003

Many parents don’t realize that babies derive comfort from non-nutritive sucking. It’s been shown that some babies begin to self-soothe by sucking on their fingers or thumbs even before birth.  By allowing your child a pacifier, you may be able to more easily break the habit as the child reaches an age where this self-soothing behavior is no longer needed, by removing or cutting the pacifier. If a child learns to self-soothe by thumb sucking, it may be more difficult to break this habit. 

Children’s Dentist Washington DC

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, If your child is still using a pacifier at the age of 3, the habit should be discouraged. This is because the upper front teeth may tip outward or come in improperly as a result. If you’re unsure if your child’s pacifier or thumb-sucking habit is interfering with the healthy development of teeth and jaws, please contact us. We’re happy to advise you with behavior modification techniques. 

Here are a few additional guidelines for pacifier use: 

  • Never dip the pacifier into a sweet substance such as honey.
  • Do not use a string, ribbon or cord to secure the pacifier to clothes or cribs.
  • The pacifier shield should be larger than the child’s mouth.
  • Discontinue use if the pacifier fits into the child’s mouth. 
  • Discard pacifiers that are worn or deteriorating
  • Do not allow the child to sleep with the pacifier. 

Remember, the AAPD recommends your child’s first visit with a pediatric dentist by the age of 1 or with the eruption of the first tooth. If you’ve yet to find your dental home, we welcome you to become a part of our dental family. For more information, please contact our 20003 children’s dentist, today.

Capitol Hill Pediatric Dentistry
Phone: (202) 849-3292
650 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Suite 220
Washington, DC 20003