Babies and toddlers love sucking on pacifiers and their thumbs. “Binkies” and thumbs comfort them and offer a temporary distraction. Some children are happiest while engaging in this “pastime.”
Everyone at the office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA is enthusiastic about treating your child’s oral health. It’s as important to us as it is to you and your youngster. In addition to the high-quality, comprehensive dental care we provide, we also have a welcoming, patient-focused environment in which each patient and his or her parents will feel at ease.
It’s natural for moms and dads to wonder if a binky is better than a thumb. Each has its pros and cons. Infants who prefer their thumbs might be less apt to have problems breastfeeding. However, they’re more susceptible to dental problems if they suck their thumbs after they turn age 4. It’s easier to wean a baby from her pacifier: You gradually take it away. But her thumbs are always available.
It might surprise you to learn that pacifiers come in two versions: non-orthodontic and orthodontic. The non-orthodontics, which are most popular, have round heads. Meanwhile, the orthodontics’ heads are square, flat and are similar to the shape of a mother’s nipple when nursing; they conform to babies’ natural tongue movements.
The type of binky your baby uses can affect her dental health and oral tendencies. A 2019 study published in Boston Medical Center Pediatrics reported that babies who use orthodontic pacifiers are less likely to have bite problems. It might be partially because non-orthodontic binkies involve extreme use of the major facial muscle that lies under the cheek. Called the buccinator muscle, it holds the cheek to the teeth and helps with chewing. Orthodontic pacifiers don’t cause this effect and, if used before 3 months old, make babies less apt to acquire poor oral health habits. To learn which pacifier is best for your child, consult with a pedodontist.
The office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA has the ability, focus and flexibility to demonstrate unparalleled professional knowledge. Our sophisticated and leading-edge equipment will give us an overall view of every aspect of your child’s mouth and teeth. We set up all of our patients for a lifetime of excellent oral health. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.
By Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA
April 26, 2022