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Dental and Oral Health (Children)

Crooked baby teeth

06/27/2008

Question:

I have an 18 month old son who`s top teeth next to his very front ones have come in slightly crooked. I have yet to take him to a dentist to check his dental health but plan on doing that very soon. I am wondering if crooked baby teeth necessarily mean that those permanant teeth will grow in crooked behind them. Also, he has used a pacifier since he was a newborn. I decreased the use of it when he was a little less than 1 to only using it at nap time and night time. In the past week, I have decreased the pacifier use even more to only using it at night. He didn`t begin to get his top teeth until he was around 13 or 14 months old. I don`t think it`s very likely, but I can`t help but wonder if the pacifier use could be what caused these baby teeth to grow in crooked?

Answer:

It is too early to predict whether your son's permanent teeth will be crowded when they erupt. Sometimes the use of a pacifier can move teeth, but it depends on the intensity, duration and frequency of the pacifier use. It is a good idea to have the pacifier discontinued by the time he reaches age 3. This is also an excellent time for him to see a dentist for a comprehensive examination.

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Response by:

Dennis J McTigue, DDS Dennis J McTigue, DDS
Professor of Pediatric Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University