Are pacifiers and thumb sucking harmful to my child's teeth?
Thumb sucking and pacifiers become an issue if they start to affect your child's skeletal development. They do this by causing a misalignment of the jaws. The roof of the mouth can begin to narrow, resulting in a high arch. The roof of the mouth literally starts to take on the form of the thumb or pacifier. This can cause the front teeth to flare out and in severe cases cause an anterior open bite, where the front teeth do not overlap. The good news is most children discontinue the habit before these changes occur.
Recommendations for Using a Pacifier
We recommend children stop the use of pacifiers by age 2-3. If the habit continues an appliance on the roof of the mouth may be required to help discourage the habit.
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