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The danger of prolonging the use of the bottle and pacifier


Parents know very well how comfortable the bottle is to feed the child and how helpful the pacifier is to calm the baby when he is nervous. However, although neither the bottle nor the pacifier are bad, prolong its use more than necessary can cause problems to the baby related to cavities, oral malocclusions and even pronunciation difficulties.

And it is that surely we are all familiar expressions such as "my baby needs a pacifier or a bottle to sleep" or "in the morning he takes the bottle in a moment, if it does not take long to eat breakfast." However, although the circumstances of the parents are very different and each one must decide based on their family organization, it should be noted that the danger of prolonged use of the bottle and pacifier exists. Getting older using a pacifier, finger or bottle can lead to dental malformations such as cavities, open bites, crossbites and atypical or phonetic swallows.

Bottle tooth decay is a very aggressive cavity that destroys the milk teeth and it can even damage the germ of the final tooth that is still inside the gum. It occurs when the sugar in milk, lactose, stays in contact with the tooth for hours, such as when the baby spends the whole night with the bottle in his mouth. Lactose favors bacteria growth that lead to cavities. If we also put cereals and / or cocoa in that night bottle, the increase in sugar is greater. The packed juices or any sugary drink in a bottle produce the same effect.

Another problem derived from the prolonged use of sucking habits (pacifier, bottle, finger) is the openbite. Prolonged suction causes a narrowing of the jaw (palate bone) that prevents the upper teeth from coming into contact with the lower teeth. It is important that the removal of the pacifier do not substitute for the fingerBecause while the pacifier may disappear, the finger cannot.

The cross bite It is another of the consequences of this prolongation that occurs when the jaw narrows, giving rise to a crossing between arches, which if it persists until 6-7 years, will require the use of orthodontics. Children with this condition cannot cut food properly, causing them complications functional, digestive and aesthetic, since in many cases their appearance changes.

Reeducate the tongue It is another of the challenges that will have to be faced when it is used to exerting the pressure it needs to suck. The placement of the malposition of teeth and tongue requires the intervention of a speech therapist and, generally, getting it is a slow process because the work is difficult.

Avoiding all these undesirable problems for the child is up to the parents. The pediatric dentists They advise removing the bottle from 12 months and substituting suction for swallowing. Abandonment of pacifier use should occur around 2 years of age.

Marisol New.

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