How to get your child to stop sucking on pacifiers or thumbs, and why it’s important

Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan

Blue and Pink Pacifer on Blackboard

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Pacifiers play a big role in infant and children’s lives, or for that matter, sucking on anything (like thumbs). However, convincing your child that they don’t need them anymore can be quite the struggle. The team at Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan has some advice.

Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan

The pacifier can be taken away gradually, or taken away “cold turkey”. Both methods are effective, although can be rough on parents. Talking to your child about becoming a “big girl” or “big boy” is helpful when approaching this juncture. Studies have shown that neither method has detrimental effects on emotional development. Some parents invent the “pacifier fairy”. This fictional figure collects the pacifier, and gives them to babies who still need them. Other parents have put the pacifiers on a plate for Santa at Christmas time so he can take them to small children who need them. Others have even gone to “Build a Bear”, where the child can put the pacifier inside the stuffed animal, allows them to “keep” their pacifier with them. These methods are all positive ways for the child to “give up” their pacifier.

But why is it so important that children stop sucking? Once baby teeth are lost, and the permanent teeth are settled, they are not as easily adjusted back. This could require a corrective appliance or braces.

To read the whole article, go here. To learn more about your child’s dental health, visit the Pediatric Dental Specialists of West Michigan website.

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