The excessive use of pacifiers can cause many life-long dental issues that become noticeable after the age of 5. Other habits that include the same mechanics of pacifier use, such as thumb sucking, can induce the same effects. Regardless, if that is your issue and you’re looking for reliable ways how to fix pacifier teeth, read along.
What are pacifier teeth?
Pacifier teeth refer to an irregular growth of teeth that results because of the lengthy use of pacifiers or thumb sucking among toddlers. Although it occurs during childhood, the condition can actually be permanent in certain cases and will continue throughout adulthood. It is ideal that kids stop using pacifiers once their secondary teeth begin to develop. How to fix pacifier teeth depends on whether the condition affects milk teeth or secondary teeth. But we will get into that soon.
The presence of an object in the mouth, often in the same position for long periods of time, will eventually affect how the teeth grow. Pacifiers act as a physical barrier that prevents the teeth from fully growing. For instance, you will notice that nearly all cases of pacifier teeth leave a gap between the front teeth. The front teeth on the lower and upper jaws typically form an arch.
How to fix pacifier teeth in toddlers?
Because milk teeth are not permanent teeth, any condition that affects them will likely not last, considering we eliminate the underlying cause. So if you’re worried about how to fix pacifier teeth for your toddler, then the solution is simple.
Before the permanent teeth come through, you have to work with your child to break the habits that caused the malocclusion.
Both thumb-sucking and pacifier use are comforting habits that children develop after weaning. And while they may soothe your baby, after 2 to 3 years of age, you should consider training your child to leave those habits behind. Especially since their mouths will begin to develop, and it is best to let their jaws develop without obstacles.
If you don’t, and they develop pacifier teeth, you should still help your toddler quit those habits. Neglecting to address this will likely cause your toddler to continue using the pacifier, and after the age of 5, this habit will shift the structure of their jaw. It is almost like their entire mouth will restructure to accommodate the continued presence of their thumb or a pacifier.
Once those issues affect their secondary teeth, you are looking at a permanent case of pacifier teeth. How to fix pacifier teeth in adults is a far more difficult and costly concern than in toddlers.
How to fix pacifier teeth in adults
In adults, there are 2 options to contemplate when considering how to fix pacifier teeth.
1- How to fix pacifier teeth with braces
Orthodontics can fix a number of malocclusion and pacifier teeth that developed in childhood. Braces strategically put pressure on your teeth to shift their position. So although your teeth may have not fully grown out, they are still there and braces can help restore them to the correct alignment.
Depending on your preferences, you can opt for traditional braces or more discreet options like lingual braces and the Invisalign. Lingual braces are traditional braces that your dentist places on the back of your teeth. On the other hand, the Invisalign is a transparent set of aligners that you can wear without it showing.
All options are as effective and will take time before you get the final results. There is no standard time period for treatment, this mostly depends on the severity of your malocclusion and alignment issues.
2- How to fix pacifier teeth with veneers
Your second option is veneers, and this solution provides instantaneous results. Instead of readjusting the positioning of your teeth, veneers work by offering a long-term flawless cover-up for your dental issues. And while this will primarily address your pacifier teeth dilemma, veneers also fix a multitude of other dental issues simultaneously. From discoloration to chipping, and gapping.
Veneers are ceramic shells that look like the front surface of a tooth. Your dentist cements those shells on your teeth. Of course, after filing down your teeth beforehand. With this procedure, you get a smile makeover.
If you’re looking for methods on how to fix pacifier teeth for your toddler or yourself, hopefully, this article has covered it all. Preventive measures are the ideal approach, so if your child has pacifier teeth, it is best to help them quit the habits that are causing it before their secondary teeth grow in.
As for the adults that want to know how to fix pacifier teeth, both braces and veneers are your best options. Veneers are a long-term fix that you can get in a day or 2 and will entirely transform your smile into perfection.
Braces are another great solution for fixing pacifier teeth, although with this option you will wait between 6 months to a year for the final result.
Contact us if you have any inquiries about veneers or braces. In a free online consultation, our dental specialists will address all your concerns.