Is It Dangerous for My Child to Still Use a Pacifier?

Dr. Sam Weisz and Pediatric Dentist Dr. Kristin Elliot explain how and why you should have your kid stop using the pacifier by 18 months.

Using a pacifier up to age one, can prevent SIDS.  After age one it is important to ween your child off the pacifier to prevent damage to dental development.  Many areas of dental bite and occlusal problems result from using a pacifier too long in to childhood.  You should be starting to train your child so that they are prepared to stop using the pacifier by 18 months.  With simple parenting methods, your little one can be pacifier free before developmental problems can occur.  Before 18 months pacifier training can make a huge impact.

If you are more of a visual learner this video may help. 

The method I prefer is early intervention.  This means that at age 6 months to 1 year you have implemented new rules.  The best rule is keep the pacifier in the crib only.  This avoids dependence and fosters an easy break up when it comes time to get rid of pacifier use.  If your child is past two years old and still struggling with pacifier use, try some of our other tips.  Making a verticle cut in the pacifier can help.  Using the pacifier to buy a toy at the store!  Have you considered trading the pacifier for something special? Be creative and good luck. As always if you have a dental question ask away at http://askmydentisttv.com or locally at http://libertyvilledental.com also on twitter @askmydentist

Good Luck,

Dr. Sam Weisz


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