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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.