As we all know, there’s a time and a place for everything. What worked for us a decade ago doesn’t work for us now. We learn and we go. We change and we adapt. If we’re lucky, we grow a little more to the good. Our children, however, haven’t yet developed the skills to even discern what a certain choice might be. We have to make these choices for them. Some of those choices can last a lifetime.
When to use and not use a pacifier is one of those choices we make on behalf of our children. It’s well-known that pacifiers have tangible benefits. They can calm, soothe, help create shorter hospital stays for preterm infants, and even reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. There can be too much of a good thing, though. There’s time and a place for everything. Prolonged pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause problems.
There are still mixed opinions about the use of pacifiers and even more opinions about when to wean children off of the pacifier. It is widely recognized, however, that using a pacifier can affect and impair the proper alignment of the teeth. This happens over time, though, and it’s generally accepted that thumb sucking and pacifier use should be stopped between the ages of three and four.
Regardless of your child’s age, we at Westerville Pediatric Dental often suggest a ventilated pacifier, which allows air to circulate. This lowers the intensity of the child’s sucking habit and decreases the risk of growth and developmental problems. Feel free to call us today to see how we can help in your individual situation. This year, learn the best way to put your binky to bed.