How and when do I stop my child from using a pacifier?
|My baby girl Alina with hers|
When should my child stop using a pacifier?
Around the age of 2-3, which is usually how long teething will last. By this age it is no longer a developmental need and is really just a habit. Waiting much past this age only makes it more difficult and traumatic for your child to quit. The negative impacts of a pacifier past the age of 2 include:
- Improper growth of the mouth
- Increased risk of ear infection
- Misalignment of teeth
- Open bite
- Harmful to speech development
Advice for weaning a child off the pacifier
- Limit the use gradually
- Pierce the nipple of the pacifier
- Dip it in vinegar
- Offer distractions like music, games, or toys
- Tell your child that the “pacifier fairy” comes to take it after they turn 2
- Let your child “give the pacifier away” to another baby, or allow him/her to throw them in the trash themselves.
- Do not belittle them for still using it. Use positive reinforcement.
- ASK your dentist/orthodontist for help if you need it. We have many more ideas!
Bryan Bauer, DDS, FAGD
Wheaton General and Cosmetic Dentists
No comments yet.