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Pacifiers And Tooth Damage

It is a common practice for most parents to use pacifiers for their kids. Pacifiers gratify the need for sucking in children. But, they can pose a problem to your child's oral health and cause potential tooth damage. Let us study in detail the effect that pacifiers can have on your child's tooth.

Effects Of Pacifiers
Use of pacifiers is not a problem during the early years of a child. However, if they are used after the age of 6 on a constant basis for a prolonged time period, they can cause several ill effects to your child's oral health. Some of the ill effects of using pacifiers include:

* Slanting of front teeth
* Inward tilting of the bottom teeth
* Misalignment of upper and lower jaws
* Narrowing of roof of the mouth

Baby Bottle As A Pacifier
Many kids use a baby bottle or a sippy cup as a pacifier. This continues even long after breastfeeding is stopped. If the bottle or the cup contains any sweet liquid or anything other than water, it could lead to tooth decay in the child.

The reason for the same is that prolonged exposure of the teeth to carbohydrates and sugars can create a breeding ground for cavity causing bacteria. This can result in early decay, which sometimes may be accompanied by acute pain and infection. Also, the risk of cavities for your child increases immensely.

Quite contrary to what many people believe, use of baby bottle as a pacifier does no good to your child either. Instead, it could lead to the most severe form of caries. Some times, the tooth of the child may also need to be extracted before your child turns three.

What you can do?

Since pacifiers cause a considerable deal of damage to your child's oral health, it is important that you take a few necessary steps. Here is what you can do to minimize the ill effects of pacifiers.

* Make sure that your child does not go to sleep with the pacifier inside his mouth. This is even more essential if your child uses a baby bottle that contains anything other than water as a pacifier.
* If your kid uses a bottle as a pacifier then fill the bottle with plain water instead of milk or any other fruit juice.
* It is important that you clean the teeth and gums of your child every time after breast feeding or feeding via bottle. You can use a damp washcloth or a gauze for this purpose.
* If you have dealt with cavities, then you need to be slightly more careful. You need to take steps to ensure that the bacteria in your mouth aren't transferred to your young one.

Keep these tips in mind and you can ensure sound oral health for your young one.