Kids Dentistry Houston
Kids dentistry Houston works with parents to help children achieve the best possible oral health. In the work we do with adults, we offer Houston cosmetic dentistry, Houston Invisalign, and Houston Lumineers. When it comes to toddlers, what we often work on is convincing parents that their preschooler needs to give up his or her pacifier. In our experience in kids dentistry Houston, we’ve learned that pacifiers can be harmless up to a certain age but can do a great deal of damage with prolonged use.
Infants have a normal sucking instinct which provides a sense of security and comfort. Sucking on a pacifier is also a self-relaxation method. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) says that the majority of children who use pacifiers will discontinue use between the ages of 2 and 4. The academy and kids dentistry Houston also say, however, that there can be serious dental repercussions as a result of prolonged dependence upon a pacifier.
Recommendations Regarding Pacifiers
Our kids dentistry Houston does not include advice that an infant not be given a pacifier. The danger comes with prolonged use. We do recommend taking special care when purchasing a pacifier. For instance, the pacifier should be constructed of one piece. Otherwise, small parts can become dangerous choking hazards. We recommend buying orthodontically correct pacifiers because they reduce the risk of creating dental problems.
Orthodontically correct pacifiers are specifically designed for the purpose of helping to correctly develop jaws and palates of infants. The flattened nipples on these special pacifiers mimic the mother’s nipple during breastfeeding, in addition to allowing for proper and healthy oral development. According to some experts, Nuk pacifiers, designed by orthodontists, are also an ideal option, to promote oral health.
We ask that parents never dip pacifiers in honey, sugar water, or any other sweet or sugary substance because doing so could contribute to the development of baby bottle tooth decay.
Potential Damage Caused by Pacifiers
If pacifiers are used on a long-term basis, a variety of possible problems can arise, including:
- Slanting in of the top and front teeth
- Tilting in of the bottom teeth
- Narrowing of the roof of the mouth
- Misalignment of the jaw
The risks are greatly heightened if the pacifier is still being used after permanent teeth start coming in, around age 6.