Many parents give their babies pacifiers. They help to sooth and settle them, and will also offer a way to quieten them down. Not all babies will take to them, but some love them so much that they just don't want to give them up. Is there any danger in allowing your preschooler to keep their pacifier? Here's what all parents need to know.
The Risks of Pacifiers
Pacifiers can be a problem for your child's development. They can lead to the teeth pulling forwards and cause overbites. According to Baby Center, there is also a possibility that they will lead to speech delays, as the muscles in the mouth develop differently to the way they need to for speaking.
1 Dental also states that pacifiers after the age of two can lead to misalignment in the jaw, narrowing of the mouth's roof, tilting of the bottom teeth and slanting of the front teeth at the top.
Using Pacifiers Safely
Before moving onto getting your child off the pacifier, it's time to look at using them safely. When purchasing one, it's always best to find one that offers air holes in the firm plastic and the size should be wide enough to prevent the baby from swallowing it.
Check the rubber frequently for any damage. Just the slightest hole can lead to the rubber falling to pieces and cause a choking hazard.
Ways to Get the Binky from the Child
Some children will go cold turkey. Depending on their age and understanding, they may take to the idea of the pacifier fairy taking old binkies for younger children. You may be able to encourage them to leave their pacifier on a tree for the fairy to collect, and a present is left for them the next day.
If this is not possible, try dipping the pacifier in vinegar or something else that tastes bitter that isn't harmful to your child. They will start to associate the taste with the binky and decide not to have it.
Limit the use to only at bedtimes at first. After a while, you can then get rid of it all together. Watch out for stashes of pacifiers around the bedroom! Children are smarter than many parents give them credit for being.
Don't panic if your preschooler still as a pacifier. Work calmly to get them off it, as they really don't need it and it could be affecting their oral and speech development. Talk to a pediatric dentist, like on at Kids Dental Tree, for more information.Share
1 June 2016
Do you have "bad teeth"? I do. Ever since I was a kid, every checkup turns up a number of issues ranging from cavities to dental fractures. It has always been frustrating to keep my smile in decent shape, which is one of the reasons I started focusing on understanding different dental problems. I wanted to know what I was getting into when I visited the doctor, so I began focusing on learning as much as I could. I wanted to create this blog all about dentistry so that other people could find out what to expect when they head to the dentist. Check it out!