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Letting go of the pacifier

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My oldest child was a hard core pacifier user. I remember the struggle to get him to stop using it twenty years later. Below are some great tips to help your child slowly kick the paci habit.

  • Wean your child off. Give only at naps and bedtime, then at bedtime only. Eventually stop.
  • Once you start to wean your child, offer other comforts instead. A new soft stuffed animal or blanket, rocking your child in a rocking chair before bedtimes, and maybe a little massage. Remember there will be some fussing at first.
  • Make sure everyone in the family and caretakers are all sticking to the same rules for pacifier use. Like anything, consistency is important for success.
  • Try a little lemon juice or vinegar on the tip to make the pacifier unappealing.
  • Telling toddlers that they are big kids always seems to help motivate. Maybe tell your child another little baby needs the pacifier now and have your "big kid" gift his or her pacifier.
  • surround your child with non paci user playmates.
  • Take your child to the toy store for a trade in your paci deal.

Sometimes cold turkey is just best and try not to pick a time to stop that be especially stressful for your child.

Long term use can effect the shape of the mouth and alignment of teeth. Symptoms of pacifier teeth include the front teeth not meeting the front bottom teeth when mouth is closed. Changes in the shape of the roof of the mouth and jaw alignment can occur due to constant suction. Some specialists say long term use of pacifiers can effect speech development as well.

Our pediatric dentists can answer any questions you may have on this topic at your child's "Happy" visit here in our office.

How teeth move with braces

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Careful manipulation of force that is used to guide the teeth into a new and improved position is what allows orthodontics to move teeth.  Together, the cells of the ligament, cementum and bone continually form and reform in response to the normal forces of the bite. Compression causes resorption (melting away or dissolving) of bone and cementum. Tension causes the cells to respond by depositing bone and cementum. Teeth have ligaments made from fibers. These fibers join to the root surfaces that are inserted into the cementum and on the other side of the ligament, the fibers insert into the bone. The total ligament is like a hammock that allows teeth to move in their sockets and to respond to stresses of biting forces. 

Wires provide a force as it interacts with each specific bracket. Each of your teeth has a different size and shape, and so do the brackets. Each bracket is custom made for the particular tooth on which it's supposed to fit. Brackets have small slots where we insert the wire and small elastic ties fit around the bracket to hold the wire in place.Pressure at the bracket produces pressure and tension at the root of the tooth, causing remodeling of bone and tooth movement. Elastics are worn at some point during orthodontic treatment, connecting from upper jaw to the lower jaw and creating force as well. Brackets, wires, and elastics work together to move teeth over time to achieve an optimal bite and beautiful smile.

 

Shark teeth?

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We often get calls to our office with worried parents about their child's permanent teeth coming in behind their baby teeth. Shark teeth (compared to a sharks two rows of teeth) are most common with lower incisors. This happens much more then you think and is nothing to be worried about. 

As children grow in their permanent teeth, they dissolve the roots of the baby teeth. Once the root is close to being dissolved, the baby tooth becomes loose. These loose teeth eventually fall out and the adult tooth grows in its place. 

With shark teeth, the root of the baby tooth doesn't dissolve quickly enough or the permanent tooth forms behind the baby tooth. Most of the time the baby teeth will eventually become loose and fall out on their own. With this space now open, chances are great for the teeth to self correct and move forward. 

Sometimes these baby teeth do not become loose and need to be extracted. An x ray may be needed to determine if any treatment is necessary. If your child's regular check up is close, just wait and bring it up to the dentist at this visit. If your child's dental check up is a ways away and you have given the baby teeth time to become loose and they haven't, call us for a quick check.  

Have your child give this area extra attention while brushing. Two rows of teeth leave even more places for plaque to accumulate and gingivitis can easily start. Having regular check ups with your child's pediatric dentist is always important for prevention and over all oral health.