Dr. Cynthia Wong and her staff are often asked by parents about weaning their small child off a pacifier. Infants are soothed to a sense of security by pacifiers, and when the time comes it is one of the hardest habits to break. It can require a great deal of persuasion, but because of the effect they can have on the growth and development of the teeth and mouth, children should stop using pacifiers by the age of two.
Prolonged pacifier use can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth, prevent proper growth of the mouth, and create problems with tooth alignment. Narrowing of the roof of the mouth and misalignment of the jaws can also occur. Using a pacifier too long can also lead to a variety of complications including tilting in of the bottom teeth, and slanting in of the top and front teeth. Until the age of two, any alignment problem with the teeth or developing bone is usually corrected within six months after pacifier use has stopped. We can help and support parents having any trouble weaning their child off a pacifier before that age.
If you have questions about pacifiers and tooth development, visit www.drcynthiawong.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Wong Orthodontics in Orland Park, IL, call 708-444-8341.