Weaning Your Toddler Off the Pacifier - Greater Austin Moms

Many parents resort to the use of pacifiers to help soothe their babies. While they are very helpful in that regard, they can be very detrimental to the development of their teeth.

By the age of two, if your toddler still uses a pacifier on a regular basis, you want to start thinking about weening them off. Prolonged pacifier use can force a child’s teeth to move and even cause the roof of their mouth to change shape to accommodate the constant presence of the pacifier.

Malocclusions such as extreme cross bites, open bites, or protrusion of the teeth are the most common problems with prolonged use of pacifiers. Pediatric decay and gingival recession has also occurred when parents choose to dip the pacifiers into sugary drinks and let their children suck on them. All of these things can lead to extremely high dental and orthodontic expenses.

Here are some suggestions to wean your toddlers off of the pacifier:

• Start limiting their time that they get it. Maybe only give it to your child during naptime, until you can slowly start phasing it out completely.

• Start replacing it with a different object, like a soft blanket or stuffed animal.

• Read a bye-bye binky book to where they maybe want to start getting rid of it.

• For some parents, it may be easier to just cut it off cold turkey and no longer have them around.

Either way you decide to get rid of the pacifier, make sure you praise them when they do a good job at not needing their pacifier. Letting them know how proud they are of you will give them the extra encouragement that they need to say goodbye to it for good.

Ask your dentist when your toddler goes in for their dental checkups on tips of how to get rid of the pacifier and the effects that staying on it can have on your little one’s teeth.

Join The Greater Austin Moms Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around Greater Austin, TX with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.