Sucking is a natural reflex. Infants and young children may use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, or other objects to suck on. Sucking on a pacifier or another habit may make your child feel more secure and happy or provide him/her with a sense of security at difficult periods. Pacifiers are a common tool used to keep your baby happy during the early days.

However, just like with prolonged finger habits, using a pacifier for too long can cause unwanted changes to your child's mouth. Damage to your child's dentition can include open bites (pictured here), crossbites, tongue thrust, or a narrowed jaw. We highly recommend stopping pacifier use at age 1. Significantly more complicated orthodontic treatment may be required in the future if caught too late. Talk to you pediatrician or pediatric dentist about stopping a pacifier habit for your child.


Doctor Wang, Doctor Perea-Corkish, Doctor Gerodias and the other Doctors of Discovery Pediatric Dentistry make no warranties, expressed or implied, as to any results to be obtained from use of the information on this page. We cannot diagnose or treat patients over the Internet. Information on this site is for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal, medical, and/or dental attention or diagnosis. Without all available information about a patient, it is impossible to make a diagnosis. Help and answers are in the form of general ideas. Only you, your dentist, and other necessary and qualified health care providers can make an appropriate treatment decision in an emergency or for everyday care and dental treatment.

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