pacifier teeth

Guarding Your Child’s Smile: Pacifier Teeth Awareness


As a parent, one of your top priorities is ensuring the health and well-being of your child. Dental health plays a crucial role in your child’s overall well-being, and it’s essential to understand the potential effects of pacifier use on their teeth. Pacifiers, also known as soothers or dummies, can bring comfort and help with self-soothing for infants and young children. However, prolonged and improper use of pacifiers can lead to dental issues commonly referred to as “pacifier teeth.”

What are pacifier teeth?

“Pacifier teeth” is a term used to describe dental problems that can arise from prolonged pacifier use. When a child frequently sucks on a pacifier, it can affect the alignment and positioning of their teeth, as well as the development of their jaw. The constant pressure and sucking motion can cause changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth, leading to a higher, narrower arch. Additionally, the front teeth may tilt forward or become misaligned, causing an overbite or an open bite.

pacifier teeth

How pacifiers affect dental development

Pacifier use can impact dental development in several ways. Firstly, the constant pressure of the pacifier against the roof of the mouth can cause the upper jaw to become narrow. This can lead to a higher risk of crowding and misalignment of the teeth as they erupt. Secondly, the sucking motion required for pacifier use can put additional stress on the front teeth, causing them to shift forward or become misaligned. This can result in an overbite or an open bite, where the upper and lower front teeth do not meet properly when biting down. Finally, prolonged pacifier use can affect the development of the muscles and bones in the face, potentially leading to changes in facial structure.

Signs of pacifier teeth

It’s important to be aware of the signs that your child may be experiencing dental issues related to pacifier use. Some common signs of pacifier teeth include:

Misaligned or crooked teeth: If you notice that your child’s teeth are not aligned properly or appear crooked, it could be a result of pacifier use.

Open bite or overbite: When the front teeth do not meet properly when biting down, it can indicate an open bite or an overbite, both of which can be caused by pacifier use.

Delayed eruption of permanent teeth: Prolonged pacifier use can sometimes delay the eruption of permanent teeth, causing them to come in later than expected.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s important to consult a dentist for a thorough evaluation and guidance on managing the issue.

Pacifier Teeth Prevention & Management

pacifier teeth

While pacifier teeth can be a concern, there are steps you can take to prevent or manage the issue. Here are some strategies:

Limit pacifier use: Gradually reduce your child’s dependence on the pacifier as they grow older. By limiting the time your child spends with a pacifier, you can minimize the potential effects on their dental development.

Encourage self-soothing alternatives: Introduce other comforting techniques, such as providing a soft blanket or stuffed animal, to help your child self-soothe without relying solely on a pacifier.

Wean off the pacifier gradually: Instead of completely eliminating the pacifier, start by limiting its use to specific times, such as naptime or bedtime. Gradually decrease the frequency of pacifier use until your child no longer needs it.

Choosing the right pacifier for your child

When selecting a pacifier for your child, it’s important to choose one that is suitable for their age and development. Consider the following factors:

Size and shape: Look for a pacifier that is the appropriate size for your child’s mouth. The shield should be wider than your child’s mouth to prevent choking hazards, and the nipple should be the right shape to support healthy oral development.

Material: Opt for pacifiers made from safe, BPA-free materials. Silicone pacifiers are a popular choice as they are durable and easy to clean.

Orthodontic design: Some pacifiers are specifically designed to support proper dental development. These pacifiers have a shape that mimics the natural shape of the nipple during breastfeeding, reducing the risk of dental issues.

Remember to regularly inspect the pacifier for signs of wear or damage and replace it if necessary.

pacifier teeth

Dental care tips for children with pacifiers

If your child continues to use a pacifier, it’s important to maintain good dental hygiene practices. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Regular brushing: Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Ensure that you clean all surfaces of their teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.

Dental visits: Schedule regular dental check-ups for your child to monitor their dental health and address any issues promptly. Your dentist can provide guidance specific to your child’s needs.

Encourage healthy habits: Teach your child the importance of good oral hygiene and encourage them to develop healthy habits, such as drinking water instead of sugary drinks and avoiding excessive snacking.

When to consult a dentist about pacifier teeth

pacifier teeth

If you notice any signs of pacifier teeth or have concerns about your child’s dental development, it’s essential to consult a dentist. They can assess your child’s oral health, provide guidance on managing pacifier teeth, and recommend appropriate treatment if necessary. Early intervention can help prevent further complications and promote healthy dental development.


Protecting your child’s smile is a lifelong commitment, and understanding the potential effects of pacifier use on their dental health is an important part of that journey. By being aware of the signs of pacifier teeth, taking preventative measures, and maintaining good dental hygiene practices, you can help promote a healthy smile for your child. Remember to consult a dentist if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s dental development. Together, we can ensure that your child’s smile shines bright with confidence and health.

People also ask

Pacifier teeth, also known as dental malocclusion, can be corrected through orthodontic treatment. This may involve the use of braces, retainers, or other dental appliances to realign the teeth and correct any bite issues caused by prolonged pacifier use.

Prolonged pacifier use can indeed be detrimental to dental health. It can lead to dental malocclusion, also known as pacifier teeth, where the teeth become misaligned or crooked. Additionally, pacifiers can contribute to other dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease if not used properly.

Yes, prolonged pacifier use can contribute to the development of buck teeth, also known as dental malocclusion. The constant pressure exerted by the pacifier on the teeth can cause them to shift forward, resulting in an overbite or protruding front teeth.

Pacifiers are often used to soothe infants during the teething process by providing them with a comforting sucking sensation. However, while pacifiers may offer temporary relief from teething discomfort, they should be used judiciously to avoid potential dental issues later on.

Yes, pacifiers can potentially mess up teeth if used excessively or for prolonged periods. Prolonged pacifier use can lead to dental malocclusion, tooth misalignment, and other dental issues. It’s essential to monitor pacifier use and wean children off pacifiers at an appropriate age to prevent these problems.