Are Pacifiers Better than Thumb Sucking?

Pacifiers win the debate, if you’re wondering which is better for babies to suck, pacifiers or thumbs.

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD),pacifiers win because breaking pacifier use is  easier than breaking a thumb sucking habit. Mainly for the reason you can take the pacifier away.

In truth, prolonged sucking on either is not good for children. Both habits can lead to orthodontic problems. Both have the same effect, which is to cause the upper teeth to jut outward or for teeth not to come in properly when teething. They can also cause tooth and jaw misalignment problems. In other words, your child may end up with a crooked bite or crooked teeth.

How Can a Pediatric Dentist Help You Deal with Pacifiers?

During a visit to the dentist, your dentist can explain what happens to teeth when the child continues to use a pacifier. When the dentist and parents team up in encouraging the child, many children quit.

For those children who won’t quit, dentists have appliances that remind children to break the habit. Ask your dentist to discuss this with you.

Guidelines for Pacifier Use

The AAPD recommends the following guidelines for pacifiers:

  • Never dip it in anything sweet (sugar or money) before giving it to the baby
  • Do not attach it to the child’s crib or body with a cord, ribbon or string
  • Make sure the pacifier’s shield is wider than the child’s mouth and quit using it if the child can put the entire pacifier in his/her mouth
  • Frequently inspect the pacifier
  • Throw pacifiers away when the bulb has become sticky, swollen or cracked
  • Never substitute a bottle nipple for a pacifier

Check with Your Dentist if Your Child Is Having Dental Issues

At Hutto Hippo Family Dental our dentists are glad to help with your child’s dental care and answer any questions you may have.