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Passing up the Pacifier
2/25/2013 8:47:50 AM
"There is no doubt that a pacifier can be a lifesaver for some parents,” says Dr. Craig Crawford with Crawford Orthodontics. "Normal use during the first few years of life doesn’t cause long-term dental problems; however, some adverse effects on the structures of the oral cavity are a possibility after prolonged use.”

The most common effect of chronic pacifier use,according to Dr. Crawford, is an anterior open bite."This is characterized by an obvious gap between the upper front and lower front teeth when the jawis closed. In this case, the back teeth touch, but the front teeth do not.”

Another common effect is a posterior crossbite.

"This is when the upper back teeth are tucked inside the lower back teeth because of the constant sucking habit,” Dr. Crawford says. "Pacifier use past the age of five can also delay the front baby teeth from falling out at a normal time, hindering emergence of adult teeth.”

Dr. Crawford recommends only allowing yourchild to use a pacifier when they are going tosleep. "Once the child is asleep, it is best to removeit from their mouth. The habit should really endbefore their second birthday, but children shouldbe coaxed to give it up even earlier — the soonerthe better.”
Posted by: Katie Harrington | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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