A baby sucking on an orthodontic pacifier

What is an Orthodontic Pacifier?

Preparing for a new baby can be completely overwhelming. When building your baby registry, there are so many choices and options for everything from diapers and wipes to blankets and bedding. One thing that most new parents are unsure of are pacifiers. Orthodontic pacifiers have been a hot topic in the parenting community. Are they actually better, and will they save you from purchasing braces later on? Here is the latest information on orthodontic pacifiers and if they will benefit your child.

What is an Orthodontic Pacifier?

Orthodontic pacifiers are specifically designed to prevent tooth misalignment and other orthodontic issues that would need to be treated later in life. They are designed to allow the babies palate to form correctly and normally. They also allow for a smaller mouth opening while the pacifier is in use, preventing the open mouth bite that some pacifiers cause. An orthodontic pacifier typically features a nipple that is rounded at the top and flat on the bottom. In recent years, more pacifiers with various shapes from the traditional orthodontic pacifier nipple have the orthodontic label.

Professional Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry does recommend the use of a pacifier instead of allowing your child to suck his or her thumb. This is because it is much easier to regulate pacifier usage, including taking them away at a certain age. Pacifiers are even recommended to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome during the first year of life. Use after the age of two can affect the orthodontic development of your child’s mouth.

Are Orthodontic Pacifiers Really Better?

Orthodontic pacifiers are created specifically to avoid dental problems that typically occur with pacifier use. Studies prove that babies who use them have a smaller chance of developing an open mouth or over bite that round pacifiers can cause. The difference can be hard to prove in every situation, because those dental issues mostly occur in children who have intensely sucked their pacifiers for an extended number of years.

How to Choose an Orthodontic Pacifier

There are many different types and brands of orthodontic pacifiers. There is no way to determine which type your child will attach to best without trying them out. Some parents recommend registering for several different types to see what your baby likes best. If your baby doesn’t seem to enjoy one then open a new type and start over. Some of the top recommended pacifier brands include Avent, Nuby, Mam, and Playtex. 

Last Updated: October 13, 2014