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Kids dental care is a little bit more complex than dental care for adults. This is largely because it’s not as straightforward. Some people don’t even realize that small children need to go to the dentist in the first place. Just because your child only has a few teeth, however, doesn’t mean that dental care for kids isn’t important. In fact, there are dentists that work specifically for children. It’s crucial that all people, kids and adults alike, get regular dental checkups every six months. The first time you take your child to the dentist’s office may be a little stressful; small children are often afraid of dentists at first. However, pediatric dentists do everything they can to create a calming environment. After you settle in for the visit, it’s important that you listen to the advice offered by your dentist.
While there are straightforward aspects to pediatric dentistry, some things are still debatable, and not even the dentists themselves are going to agree on every piece of advice given to young parents. Much of kids dental care is about developing good habits early, and encouraging your children to care for their teeth consistently on their own. All of that being said, one of the most hotly debated topics among dentists and parents alike is whether or not a pacifier is acceptable for babies and toddlers. Many people believe that pacifiers are perfect for children prone to crying; however, others think that they do more harm than good, ruining a child’s bite before they even begin teething. Let’s look into what dentists say about pacifiers, and their general pros and cons.
Pacifiers do affect the way people approach kids dental care, in the long term. With that being said, some dentists are less strict about their recommendations regarding pacifiers than others. The fact is that pacifiers are often introduced when babies are rather young, and their jaws and gums are still malleable and prone to changing somewhat. Think about where a pacifier rests in a child’s mouth. If they keep sucking on a pacifier from infancy to the ages of 2 to 4, a child can develop an overbite or even a cross bite. Every child is different, obviously, but dentists generally tend to recommend against pacifiers. With that being said, deciding whether or not a child will use a pacifier is ultimately up to the parents.
Many parents feel tempted to use pacifiers, simply because they seem to make it easier to soothe infants. However, ultimately the issues that come with pacifiers may outweigh the benefits. While a pacifier itself is cheap, the braces you’ll pay for to take care of an overbite later, are not. Many of the problems that revolve around kids dental care can be prevented by different approaches taken from a young age. If you’ve already started using a pacifier with your child, you can slowly train them focus on other soothing techniques rather than a pacifier. Give them a blanket to cuddle, or perhaps a stuffed animal.
As discussed above, the real problems surrounding pacifiers become apparent if a child uses a pacifier as a toddler. So why not allow your child a pacifier when they’re a baby, and simply break them of the habit when they’re older? The fact is that it’s not as easy to convince a child to give up a pacifier as you might think. For that matter, a lot of parents themselves may fall back into the habit of giving their child a pacifier because it’s easier on them as well. The best approach is to avoid saddling both yourself and your child with this crutch, and to focus on means of soothing that don’t involve a pacifier.
All kids are different, and you as a parent need to make the choice that is right for your family. However, remember that dentists are the experts when it comes to dental care, and you should be careful about following their advice.