What age is too old for a pacifier? When will sucking a pacifier start to affect the development of your child’s teeth?
Before age 2, any effects that a pacifier has on mouth or tooth development will be corrected within six months. After age 2, there is reason for concern.
Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier use affects the development of the mouth, roof of mouth, and teeth. Teeth can erupt partially, or be misaligned. Lip and facial muscle formation can be impaired. Speech and language problems may develop. Additionally, your child may develop frequent earaches and ear infections.
Some experts encourage gradually your child from pacifier use around 18-months old. If you find that your child is not interested in a pacifier, or if it falls out of his or her mouth, don’t encourage use of it. Avoid putting sugar or sugary substances on a pacifier. It will promote tooth decay.
Activities, music, games, toys, or other comforts may distract your child from pacifier use. Dramatically forcing a child to stop pacifier use can be stressful for the child. If your child is at an age where pacifier use may be harm his or her oral health, and you need help getting your child to break the habit, speak with your pediatric dentist.
This post is sponsored by the dentists of Naperville Dental Specialists.