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Pacifier Teeth

Pacifier TeethBabies and Toddlers May Develop “Pacifier Teeth”

Problems can result from comforting habits.

Pacifier Teeth, a dental condition that affects babies and toddlers, can be the result of either too much thumb-sucking or pacifier use. We all know that babies love sucking on their bottles, pacifiers, and even their thumbs. But, if it goes on too long, it can become a bad habit that threatens the health and development of teeth.

How does pacifier teeth happen?

The suction creates such a strong force that the continuing pressure influences the alignment of teeth. The result is an open bite malocclusion, also known as pacifier teeth, in which teeth fail to close properly and are often splayed outward.

How to prevent pacifier teeth

First, an effective way to gauge your child’s risk is to pay attention when removing their thumb or pacifier. If it’s difficult to remove or creates a loud, smacking sound, they are more likely to develop a problem.

Once you know what you’re up against, the best way to prevent the condition is to regulate the behavior. Infants aren’t typically at risk because sucking is a natural occurrence, and they don’t yet have their baby (primary) teeth. However, you should aim to wean your child off of the habit by around age 2. Additionally, pacifiers are typically better than thumb-sucking because it’s much easier to control the child’s access when it comes time to stop.

About Dr. William J. Black

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the UCLA School of Dentistry where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the U.S. Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Black has 8 children, works actively with the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys gardening.

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