Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby pacifiers = Future dental issues... ?

I work at a daycare center and I always see pacifiers. Sometimes, I literally thank God for pacifiers. In terms of calming down babies, I would take a pacifier over a Baby Einstein video any day. Pappy, binky, whatever you want to call it, those things are useful. However, if a child is attempting to form full sentences while sucking away, it's time for the pappy to go. Not only can you not understand the child, but you're paving the way for "talking-with-your-mouth-full" habits. Maybe. That's just a theory. However, I think people commonly hold the belief that pacifier use can have long-term effects on the positioning of a child's baby and adult teeth. Take me for example.

Even as a baby, I was a pacifier addict.
Judging from this photo, apparently one pacifier just couldn't get the job done. I could even do tricks with my pacifier by flipping it around with my tongue when I felt the adult had not correctly placed the pacifier right-side-up.
As endearing as I was, these habits did not bode well for my future 5th grade school photos...

YEAH. From far away, it might look cute and awkward but I hated my smile. In order to correct my lovely cross-bite, I had seven teeth pulled, two oral surgeries, and three and a half years in braces. Whew. Thank you, Mom and Dad for not making me live with nasty teeth!

Maybe my bad teeth simply came down to genetics, but I don't know. I have a feeling my early addiction to pacifiers had something to do with it too.

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