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Pacifiers soothe toddlers, but are they causing irreparable tooth damage?
It’s hard being a parent – there’s so much to worry about, so much to remember, and so much to anticipate. When it comes to your child’s dental health, we’re here to help simplify things. By staying vigilant, you can help prevent your kids’ developing cavities, damaging, their teeth, and even needing orthodontic treatment down the line. Read on for a guide to some lesser-known dangers to pediatric oral health, and get in touch if you have any questions.
Safety Hazards for Kids’ Teeth
- Baby bottles – Of course, baby bottles are safe (and necessary) when used properly. What you want to watch out for is letting your kids fall asleep with their bottles in their mouths. The milk/formula will remain on their teeth overnight, causing tooth decay.
- Pacifiers – Pacifiers are appropriate to use until your child is between 2-4 years of age. Past that, the prolonged sucking could affect the way their teeth line up and or the shape of their mouth. Check on whether pacifier use is still appropriate at your child’s regular dental exams. If pacifier use continues for too long, braces might be necessary once permanent teeth have erupted.
- Thumb sucking – Ongoing thumb sucking will have similar consequences to pacifier use. The pressure of your child’s thumb against his or her teeth will cause the teeth to splay out, disrupting tooth and jaw alignment. While other factors may lead to crooked teeth, it’s best to take action with those you’re able to control (like pacifiers and thumb sucking).
- Sippy cups – If your child tends to spend the day with a sippy cup between their teeth, this could actually lead to greater injuries if they fall down or jostle the cup.