pacifier

Pacifiers offer comfort and help to reduce stress in infants. Many parents wonder when it is appropriate to wean their child off the pacifier. If a pacifier is not taken away at a certain age it can cause serious issues with a child’s teeth, mouth, and jaw. At Peak Pediatric Dentistry, we support our patients and parents and know weaning a child from the pacifier is hard. As much as the pacifier is needed in the early stages of life, it is just as important to take it away, so your child does not develop any issues in the future.

What Issues Can a Pacifier Cause?

The pacifier helps to soothe a child, and the sucking reflex is natural when they are born. The ideal time for a child to stop using a pacifier is between the ages of two and four. If a child continues to use their pacifier beyond this age range, they may develop jaw or bite complications.

Children who have used a pacifier tend to develop an over bite, and may have issues with their teeth erupting.  Orthodontics may be needed to correct difficult issues caused by pacifier sucking. As your child gets older, breaking their habit becomes more difficult. Early intervention is important to prevent more serious issues as they grow older.

When Is the Best Time To Wean My Child Off the Pacifier?

Each situation and child are different, and we recommend you do what is best for your child. The method used can be instant or gradual, and we can help by recommending behavior modifications to assist in the process. Timing is key, and parents should consider what the child has going on at the moment while weaning them off the pacifier. Finding new ways to comfort your child through the weaning process is important and giving incentives can help. Positive reinforcement works best and always avoid negative behavior during the process.

Interested in Finding Out More Information?

If you are interested in finding out more about pacifier weaning, or to schedule an appointment for your child, contact Peak Pediatric Dentistry, and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.

fruit juice

Fruit juice is thought of as a healthy way to give children the vitamins they need. Juice is packed with sugar and acids that can cause damage to your child’s teeth. Teaching a child good eating and drinking habits is important, so they do not expect to have juice all of the time. Choosing water over juice is best and saving juice for special occasions can help. At Peak Pediatric Dentistry, we are always giving our patients advice regarding how to take care of their teeth and mouth at a young age. Our staff is trained to give recommendations on diet and what foods to avoid in order to keep your child’s teeth cavity free.

How Does Juice Damage Teeth?

Juice contains high levels of sugar, and when your child drinks the juice the bacteria in the mouth creates an acid. This acid is what attacks the tooth enamel and can cause tooth decay and cavities. Visiting our office regularly with your child is important. Our exam process takes a look at your child’s teeth to ensure we do not see any issues with decay or any developing cavities.

Even though the sugar in juice is natural, it can still cause damage that can lead to tooth decay. In addition to the sugar, juice also contains natural acids that can wear down the enamel on our teeth. Talking to your child about making good food and drink choices can help avoid tooth decay from juice or other sugar filled foods and drinks.

What Juice Is Best?

If you choose to have juice there are differences in the brands and nutritional value. Juice cocktails tend to not be 100% juice, and can contain additional sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup. Mixed juices can contain added sugars, so it is important to read the labels carefully. Many fruit punch type drinks are labeled as juice, but they have no nutritional value and are packed with added sugars.

Finding 100% fruit juice is the best choice, but these can also be unhealthy and contain just as much sugar as a glass of soda. Orange and grapefruit juices tend to have lower amounts of sugar. Choosing whole fruits instead of juice is always the best choice because whole fruit provides additional nutrition such as fiber and other vitamins.

Ready To Schedule Your Appointment With Us?

If you are interested in scheduling your child’s appointment, or have a concern about tooth decay, contact Peak Pediatric Dentistry, and our staff will be happy to assist you.