Need Help Eliminating Your Child's Pacifier?
Parents love their children, and their children love pacifiers, so you don't want to take away something that they enjoy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics , parents should limit or eliminate pacifier use when their child is 6 to 12 months old. When children continue using a pacifier, they become more prone to ear infections. Pacifier use can also interfere with speech development, because the child may hesitate to begin babbling or talking.
Dental Effects of a Pacifier
Most children give up the pacifier on their own between the ages of 2 and 4, but from a dental perspective, the sooner the better. Continued use of a pacifier can cause upper baby teeth to tip forward. Permanent teeth come in around ages 4 to 6, and if your child is still using a pacifier, the permanent teeth can also shift forward.
If you are concerned about your child’s teeth because of continued pacifier use, stop in and see the experts, the pediatric dentists at the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire, in Amherst. It is important to evaluate the teeth and jaws to see if there are problems from pacifier use.
Tips for Reducing Pacifier Use
There are some things you can do to wean your child off of the pacifier such as:
- Taking it away early, so your child is too young to remember
- Making it taste unpleasant bu using a safe, foul-tasting solution recommended by a dentist or pharmacist
- Trading it in for a special treat or toy
- You can also try “misplacing” it and have your child help you look for it around the house. When neither of you finds it, substitute something else your child likes.
You can wean your child from the pacifier by beginning to limit use during the day, and then gradually stop using it at night by developing a new ritual before they go to sleep.
Parenting can be a tough job, especially when it comes to getting rid of your child’s beloved pacifier. You are not alone, so seek out the help of your pediatric dentists at the Children’s Dental Center of New Hampshire in Amherst. Call today!