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How do pacifiers affect the look of teeth?

Written by Dr. Chaw Su Kyi on October 18, 2011

How do pacifiers affect the look of teeth? My son is 3.5 years old.

When you suck your thumb or a dummy, the pressure of the thumb can push the upper front teeth forwards, the lower teeth backwards. The cheeks which are moving to suck the dummy/thumb can narrow the upper back teeth, If you try sucking your thumb now, you can easily see how the cheek muscles are moving and where the thumb is positioned in-between the upper & lower front teeth. By having the thumb or dummy there can also prevent the full eruption of the teeth as it acts as a barrier to the eruption of the permanent teeth. While your son only has baby teeth, it is very unlikely to have an effect on the adult teeth, but still extremely important to stop the habit now to ensure the habit doesn’t continue into the permanent teeth. 

The permanent teeth start to come through from around age 6 onwards. And as a parent, the years go by so quickly, he will be 6ys before you know it!

AAO - Member American Association of Orthodontists BDA - British Dental Association World Federation of Orthodontists BOS - British Orthodontic Society RCS - Advancing Surgical Slandaros British Dental Health Foundation British Lingual Orthodontic Society