Unfortunately, it’s a scary world that we live in, and parents are always on the lookout for ways to keep their kids safe. But when it comes to your child’s oral health, the dangers might be less obvious. Certain childhood habits and toys can prove hazardous to teeth – but that doesn’t mean you have to take them entirely away. Read on to learn more about finding a healthy balance, so that your toddler can use his or her pacifier without fearing crooked teeth down the line.

Ever unsure about what’s right for children’s teeth? Don’t hesitate to contact us. Our dental knowledge is at your disposal!

Childhood Dangers to Dental Health

  • Pacifiers – Pacifier use is something that people clearly feel strongly about – when David Beckham defended his four-year-old’s use of a pacifier, the public exploded in a controversy over whether it’s still appropriate at her age. While parenting experts take both sides, healthcare providers have more certain footing. For reasons related to both childhood socializing and oral health, it’s best to move past pacifiers between the ages of 2-4. If your children are still looking for sources of comfort and hesitant to give up this crutch, there are other methods of helping them feel safe and calm. Try giving them some extra hand-holding or another object that inspires contentment. By leaving pacifiers behind, your kids stand a better chance of avoiding issues with speech, jaw alignment, crooked teeth, and being mocked by their peers. The same principles apply to thumb sucking.

  • Bottles – If your infant or toddler is falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth, that’s a bad thing. When the formula in the bottle washes over their teeth, it kickstarts decay. The sugary milk/formula erodes the enamel on teeth, and opens up an opportunity for cavities. Never let your child go to bed with a bottle, and be sure to clean their teeth before they sleep. Also avoid putting juice or other sweet drinks in their bottle.

  • Sippy cups – Sippy cups seem pretty benign, but that depends on exactly how they’re used. Many kids get into the habit of walking or running around while still clutching their sippy cup or juicebox. This isn’t a big problem (although the constant presence of juice in the mouth isn’t healthy for enamel), but it can become one if your child falls down, cutting their lip or face in the process. Pacifiers and bottles can also cause similar injuries to the teeth and to the face. Help your kids understand that they need to be careful when they having something in their mouths.

How Can I Anticipate What’s Right for My Kid’s Teeth?


It always feels a little overwhelming when learning about what experts consider dangerous to your child’s health. If you listen to everyone, there’s no room left for anything – you end up feeling like your kids need to be kept in protective bubbles. That’s why it’s so important to understand the nuances behind keeping your kids’ teeth safe. They can use pacifiers, bottles, and sippy cups – you just need to keep an eye on the way they’re using them, and make sure they stop before their teeth really begin developing.

While baby teeth fall out as your kids grow, their healthy development guides the growth of their permanent teeth. This is one reason why there’s such an emphasis on keeping baby teeth healthy – they act as a blueprint for the future. If you’re ever uncertain about what you should do for your children’s teeth, contact us for guidance.

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Dr. Kim Dr. Kim

Dr. Kim Okamura

I'm Dr. Kim Okamura and this blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE.