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Little baby boy

Most parents understand that pacifier and thumb-sucking habits can impact their children’s teeth. So when should you break your child’s pacifier or thumb-sucking habits?

Weaning from Pacifier

How

Parents have lots of opinions! If your child uses a pacifier, you’ve probably already had multiple well-meaning friends (or even strangers) offer you advice on how you should handle weaning your kid from the paci. There are definitely some common tried and true methods, and you can check out many of them on a variety of parenting websites.

When

The main thing that we want to talk about is timing. When is it time for the pacifier to go? We generally recommend that you wean your child from a pacifier by the time they are two years old in order to avoid potential complications with speech or with the development of permanent teeth. Since each child is different, there’s not a one-size-fits-all formula. Feel free to give us a call or ask us specific questions about your child at your next office appointment!

Breaking the Thumb-sucking Habit

If your child doesn’t break the habit of sucking a thumb or fingers on his own, talk with us sooner rather than later. Sometimes sucking a thumb or fingers can be a habit that is difficult to break. Remember, that using a pacifier or sucking a thumb serves as your child’s means of comfort, so when you think about eliminating the habit, it can be helpful to think in terms of helping your child learn to find comfort in other ways, such as rubbing a fuzzy blanket or playing with a particular toy or using their words to ask for a hug. As with the pacifier, the main challenge is to help your child break this habit before their permanent teeth begin to develop, so a general rule: the sooner the better.

Talk to us about your child’s patterns, and we will work with you to find a strategy that will help your child take the next step!

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