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Drs. Justison And Gladnick
Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Wilmington, DE

The Relationship of Malocclusion and sucking on Pacifiers or FIngers

January 3, 2017
Posted By: Mark Gladnick, D.D. S.
Malocclusion and Thumb Sucking | Wilmington DE

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association (December 2016) reports on the relationship between the use of pacifiers and finger/thumb-sucking, and eventual orthodontic problems in your child.  Specifically, the study found an "association between pacifier sucking and the development of posterior crossbite and anterior open bite.  Thumb and finger suckers were more likely to develop an anterior open bite.

So what to do?  We recommend that parents limit the use of pacifiers to the crib.  An added benefit to this approach is increased cognitive function, allowing the child to be stimulated by the environment instead of remaining in the passive state that pacifiers encourage.  Pacifier use, according to the study, has also been associated with shorter duration of breast-feeding and ear infections.

Parents will have to get creative in their own way in helping a child to limit his/her sucking habits, but it is worth the effort!

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