Can Pacifying Toddlers Harm the Development of Teeth?
The question of providing a pacifier for a crying baby continues to perplex parents even today. Some parents sidestep the problem in favor of thumb sucking, but this relinquishes control over the use of the comforting device. Many experts discourage the use of pacifiers because excessive use can affect the shape of the mouth and the normal eruption of adult teeth.
Pacifiers and Baby Teeth:
Many parents believe they don’t have to worry about baby teeth, but the loss of these teeth can affect the positioning of the adult teeth as they emerge. When the baby teeth are lost early, adult teeth may come in crooked, crowded or with over- or under-bites. These problems can be avoided with early intervention by a trained children’s orthodontist.
Problems Associated With Pacifier Use:
Experts warn that pacifier use after the age of three can cause a number of problems, such as:
- Shifting or moving of upper teeth
- Unattractive molding of facial structures
- Increased risk of middle ear infections
Orthodontics For Children:
Orthodontics is a specialty field of dentistry that deals with problems of tooth alignment and dysfunction in mouth structures. Orthodontists are dental professionals that receive three additional years of training in the diagnosis and treatment of facial abnormalities and dental alignment. They analyze dental problems through the visual examination of mouth tissues and x-ray of the bones of the mouth and jaw. With this information, the orthodontist can then design a treatment program to restore teeth and jaws to full function. Orthodontics for children can help to improve eating ability to ensure good health and can increase self-esteem for better overall well being.
Types of Orthodontic Problem:
The use of pacifiers over a long period of time can cause tooth alignment problems or exacerbate problems that already exist in the facial structure.
- Anteroposterior deviations are problems such as underbite and overbite that can impede proper speech and eating function.
- Tooth overcrowding can occur when the jaw space is not large enough to accommodate that size of the adult teeth and can also occur when alignment is disrupted by actions such as using a pacifier.
- Poor appearance can result when adult teeth do not fit the shape of the face or when teeth are positioned in an unattractive way.
If Your Child Needs Braces:
Straightening teeth may be done with a variety of devices, such as braces, headgear and retainers. Today, braces are made of a variety of materials to suit each orthodontic need, including stainless steel, plastic, ceramics and combinations of these materials. A highly trained and experienced children’s orthodontist will be able to determine the best type of device needed to correct your child’s dental problems.
If you have concerns about the affect of the use of pacifiers on your toddler’s teeth, make an appointment today at Beach Braces to discuss the problem and possible solutions with an experienced and caring children’s orthodontist.
Beach Braces, 1730 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
TEL: 310-379-0006 Fax: (310) 379-7051.
Toddlers Teeth Development