Pacifiers have been used around the world since the early 1600s and still commonly used today to calm babies in between feedings and to help them fall asleep. Despite how common pacifier usage a common questions parents will often ask their pediatric dentist is, “when should I stop giving my child their pacifier?”
Sucking on a pacifier or your child’s thumb is a normal developmental step for children and they can carry that well into their first year of life. Most children at around the age of two will start to lose interest in either their thumb or their pacifier. If your child doesn’t start to lose interest around that age then that’s when it could start to pose a problem to your child’s oral health.
Some of the most common problems that are associated with sucking on a pacifier or a thumb after 2-3 years old are with their teeth development. Having something in your child’s mouth constantly after 2-3 years of age can start to affect the alignment of teeth and even the roof of the mouth.
If your child doesn’t automatically stop using their pacifier or sucking there thumb then it’s essential that parents step in. Praise and encouragement are a good start to start to break your child’s habit. As a parent, you can praise your toddler when they stop using their pacifier and provide a reward. You can also gradually stop letting your child use their pacifier, for example, “this is only something you get during bedtime.”
Another popular method is a multistep method which cuts the pacifier habit at once, it’s recommended that you let your child know a few days in advance that on a certain day all the pacifiers will be thrown away and leaving the house. This will help your child not fall back into old habits.
If you are having problems with getting your child to stop sucking their pacifier or thumb, you can ask your children’s dentist to talk to your child about how it’s beneficial to their teeth to stop.
One of the best things you can do for your child is to bring them to the dentist as soon as they get their first tooth. If you need the best children’s dentist in Revere, MA, come to see All Pro Dental. We specialize in children’s dentistry and are prepared for any of your child’s dental health needs. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, you can contact us online or call us at (781) 853 – 0111.