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Baby’s nipple and bite

Baby’s nipple and bite

  • August 14, 2021

The formation of a bite in humans occurs even in childhood, before the eruption of all milk teeth. This process is influenced by many factors – heredity, respiratory failure, the position of the child during sleep. According to most orthodontists, the use of a pacifier has the greatest impact on the development of the baby’s lower jaw and the correct growth of the elements of the dentition. The variety and duration of its use depends not only on the correct position of the teeth in the jaw row, but also on the further proportions of the face.

Optimum age for application

Starting from the first days after birth, the sucking reflex begins to be traced in the baby. The innate instinct is vital for the further development of the baby, as it ensures that milk is received from the mother’s breast or bottle.

Another key purpose of the sucking reflex is to reduce the motor activity of the brain and reduce the number of negative emotions.

Regular suckling of the mother’s breast can reduce the infant’s anxiety, promote relaxation, and reduce the risk of neurotic reactions in adulthood.

The intensity of the sucking reflex is different for each child, therefore, in order to avoid a violation of the established diet, women often resort to using a pacifier.

The sucking instinct is most pronounced in the first year of life. It is during this period that he performs a protective function in the baby’s body.

The use of a nipple at this stage of development allows you to achieve the following:

  • distract the child from painful sensations and discomfort; 
  • improve sleep; 
  • reduce excitability; 
  • eliminate the risk of tongue sinking during sleep; 
  • to establish a bite in children on artificial feeding with the correct selection of a pacifier.

Starting from 8-9 months of a baby’s life, his innate reflex gradually fades away, completely disappearing by 3-4 years. This is due to the development of the child and the gradual transition to spoon feeding, which serves as an impetus for the development of the chewing instinct.

Therefore, most dentists and pediatricians recommend that it is during this period that the further use of the pacifier be abandoned.

According to research, the process will bring a minimum of physiological and psychological inconvenience.

Negative effects

Despite the benefits of using a pacifier to satisfy the sucking reflex of an infant, most dentists agree that prolonged use of the pacifier negatively affects the oral cavity. The size of the lower jaw of a newborn is much smaller compared to the upper one. To enhance its growth, experts recommend focusing on breastfeeding, during which the lower jaw moves forward, and the tongue makes wave-like movements.

When using a pacifier, the natural muscle balance is disturbed, resulting from the pressure of the tongue on the jaw line and the contraction of the muscles of the cheeks and lips during sucking.

The nipple puts pressure on the periodontium, leading to excessive stress on the mucous membrane. As a result, the erupting teeth may be displaced into the wrong position.

Most often, children who abuse a pacifier are later diagnosed with a distal or open bite, as well as excessive inclination of the upper jaw teeth forward.

Pathological changes in the structure of the dentoalveolar row occur if the total duration of the use of the pacifier exceeds 6 hours a day.

If the child uses a soothing object very rarely, he will not be able to cause a malocclusion.

Additional disadvantages of products

In addition to the development of an abnormal bite, the frequent use of the nipple, according to experts, can lead to the following problems:

  • Deterioration of lactation. It may take a woman two to eight weeks to fully establish breastfeeding. The use of the nipple during this period must be discarded. In addition, experts note that when using a pacifier, the baby’s sucking reflex is satisfied without latching on to the breast, which leads to a decrease in the amount of milk in a woman and a transition to artificial feeding.
  • Violation of diction. Incorrect bite and tongue position in the mouth, resulting from frequent use of a pacifier, entail problems with the pronunciation of many sounds when the baby begins to speak.
  • Ear infections. As a result of sucking during the period of nasal congestion, the pressure in the area of ​​the auditory tube increases. This often leads to infection and the development of otitis media and other ear diseases.
  • Low sterility. If the nipple falls out of the baby’s mouth, it must be carefully handled in order to avoid the development of various intestinal infections. During the period when the child begins to roll over and crawl on his own, it is problematic to follow this.
  • The emergence of a habit. With prolonged use of the pacifier, the child develops an addiction. Therefore, the older the baby, the more difficult it is for him to give up the habit.

Rules of selection

To reduce the harm done to babies by regular use of the pacifier, it is important to choose the right device.

Preference should be given to special orthodontic nipples. These products differ from conventional pacifiers in their anatomical shape, which has a beveled surface on one side and a convex surface on the other.

In this case, the beveled part of the product must be placed on the side of the child’s tongue, and the convex part in the palate.

Thanks to this design of the pacifier, the growth of the lower jaw is activated, which since the birth of the child significantly lags behind the upper one in size.

In addition, the pressure on the palate and upper jaw is negligible, which contributes to their full development.

Orthodontic Pacifier


When choosing, you must also pay attention to the following points:

  • Material of manufacture. There are two types of nipples on sale – silicone and latex. Silicone products are more durable and able to withstand high temperatures, which makes them easier to boil. At the same time, they have low elasticity, therefore, after teething, there is a possibility of a child. chewing them. Pacifiers made of latex are more durable, however, they do not tolerate high temperatures, and also quickly accumulate bacteria on the surface, so you will have to change them more often. In addition, latex products can cause allergic reactions.
  • The size. The size of the nipple changes depending on the child’s age. So, for babies up to 6 months, a size 1 pacifier is suitable. Children over six months should use size 2 of the product.
  • The presence of an air valve. This figure is important when choosing a nipple bottle for feeding. The presence of the valve reduces the likelihood of the baby swallowing air, as well as the nipple sticking.

How to painlessly learn

The process of weaning a child from a dummy is very individual. Some children do not notice the disappearance of the rubber device from life, being distracted by new activities. Others, on the other hand, experience intense stress.

Many mothers, based on their own experience, note that the process proceeds most comfortably when the baby is at the age of 6 to 10 months.

To make the process as comfortable as possible, you must adhere to the following recommendations:

  • pick up a teether when the child’s first tooth grows – this will help divert attention from the usual pacifier and speed up the teething process;
  • refuse to use the nipple to calm the baby – pick him up, talk, rock him;
  • reduce the frequency of use while preparing for bed, replacing it with a relaxing massage, reading a fairy tale, singing a lullaby;
  • remove the pacifier from the baby’s mouth after he falls asleep.

If you need to wean a child older than a year from the nipple, experienced parents advise you to resort to some tricks. For example, exchange a dummy for an interesting toy, lose it, or offer to give it to a younger friend.

The complexity of the process of weaning a child from a dummy may depend not only on the degree of dependence of the child, but also on his physical and emotional state at a certain point in time.

Therefore, in case of a baby’s illness or other stressful situations, it is better to postpone the rejection of the nipple to a more favorable moment.

Other influencing factors

Some parents wonder why the baby’s bite is not formed correctly enough when a pacifier is rarely used or completely abandoned.

It should be understood that in addition to the nipple, this process is influenced by many other factors:

  • incorrect head position during sleep;
  • timing of teething;
  • mouth breathing;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • posture.

In order to avoid the formation of an incorrect bite, examination of the child’s oral cavity by the dentist should be carried out regularly.

Therefore, it is necessary to seek advice every 3-4 months from the moment of eruption of eight milk teeth. After the end of the formation of a milk bite – in 2-3 years, a visit to the dentist should occur every six months.


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