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Home / Blog / Braces / How To Fix Pacifier Teeth

How To Fix Pacifier Teeth

Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  / Jul 08, 2024  
Medically reviewed by Dr Minoo Ghamari  
Jul 08, 2024  
How To Fix Pacifier Teeth

Many parents are warned time and time again not to prolong the use of pacifiers, but that's much easier said than done when you're a headstrong toddler who gets comfort from their dummies. However, the warning comes for good reason, as excessive use of pacifiers can cause some life-long dental issues that occur after the age of five and will often stay with you into adulthood.

Here at Gorgeous Smiles, we want to make sure that you know there are some ways you can fix pacifier teeth. Keep reading to learn all about how to fix pacifier teeth, along with what you can do to prevent dental issues from reoccurring.

What are pacifier teeth?

Pacifier teeth is the term for irregular growth of teeth that comes from using a pacifier for too long. It's often first seen in childhood, but it can become permanent and some patients even find that their pacifier teeth continue to worsen throughout adulthood. When your secondary teeth begin coming through, it's important not to have anything in the mouth to stunt the progression of the teeth pushing through.

Almost all cases of pacifier teeth come with a gap between the two front teeth, and the front teeth can often form in the shape of an arch. Pacifier teeth can affect both milk teeth and permanent teeth, but the treatment will depend on which type of teeth you're struggling with. Today, we'll be focusing on how to fix pacifier teeth in adults, which is often a more difficult treatment route.

How to fix pacifier teeth?

There are a few ways to fix pacifier teeth, much to many of our patients' delight. Many people believe that the only option is veneers or crowns, and this is often the best option to go for when your teeth are much shorter than they should be. However, patients with minor pacifier teeth might be treatable with braces, which is the less invasive treatment option. Keep reading to find out more:

Veneers

Veneers are often the most popular choice for adults dealing with pacifier teeth because the results are instantaneous and you can walk out of the surgery with a perfect smile. Veneers work by placing thin shells over the top of your existing permanent teeth to create a uniform look. We'll work with you to make sure we create the perfect look for you, including both the colour and shape of the teeth.

Veneers are a permanent solution that will last up to 30 years before needing to be replaced, so you can enjoy your new smile for decades! We usually warn patients that veneers are a permanent solution which often requires us to file away some of your natural teeth to fit the new teeth over them. However, many patients also agree that this is a necessary requirement for fixing their pacifier teeth and that it's better than living with their natural teeth.

To learn more about veneers, keep reading here.

Traditional braces

While veneers are the most common alternative for pacifier teeth, they might not be the only option. We often see patients who want to fix pacifier teeth with less invasive treatments, and they'll ask us if veneers are their only option. Luckily, braces might be able to help put pressure on the teeth to shift their position, gently correcting your teeth misalignment even if they haven't completely grown out. While braces are designed to move teeth left and right, they might also be able to pull them to their correct length.

The reason why people are hesitant about traditional braces is because they're easily noticeable and can affect self-confidence. Some patients might also not want to go through the lengthy treatment time that comes with braces, as you might need to wear them for years at a time.

To learn more about braces, keep reading here.

Aesthetic brace alternatives

As you'll be wearing braces for quite a few years, it's understandable that you might not want to opt for traditional metal braces. Luckily, there are some more aesthetic options we can offer you, including lingual braces and ceramic braces.

Lingual braces are exactly the same as metal braces with one large difference - instead of the brackets being attached to the front of the teeth, they're bonded to the back instead. This means that the braces are almost invisible when you're smiling and talking, improving your self-confidence while also reducing pacifier teeth damage. The only issue we might run into is if your shorter teeth don't have enough space for the brackets to sit securely, and if we find this we might not be able to recommend lingual braces.

The next option is ceramic braces, which use all the same components as traditional braces but rather than being made from metal, they're made from tooth-coloured ceramic! This means that they blend in with your teeth easier which can reduce the impact on your self-esteem. Ceramic braces tend to be more fragile than metal alternatives, so you might need to see us more often for more fixes.

Invisalign

Invisible braces are another good option for improving teeth alignment, although they put less pressure on your teeth so they won't be able to guide the teeth out from beneath the gums. However, it is possible your teeth can develop naturally after you fix your alignment, so Invisalign is a good option if you have mild pacifier teeth!

Invisalign consists of clear aligners that have been moulded to your teeth and need to be worn for 22 hours of the day. You'll need to switch out your aligners every two weeks to continue the gentle movement of your teeth. While Invisalign might not be the best treatment to fix pacifier teeth for everyone, many patients we see find the realignment of their teeth a confidence booster in itself.

To learn more about Invisalign, keep reading here.

Dental implants

When the tooth becomes damaged from developing pacifier teeth, it might make the most sense to remove the tooth and use a dental implant instead. We might recommend this if only the front teeth are affected by prolonged pacifier use, as you can benefit from new teeth within just a few months!

Dental implants involve placing a screw where the tooth root used to be and waiting for a few months until the jawbone fuses with the screw to make it as secure as possible. Once we've waited long enough for this to happen, we'll be able to fit your new permanent teeth to improve the appearance of your smile straight away.

Some patients are worried about waiting for months without their permanent teeth, but we can place temporary teeth in the gaps left by the tooth extraction so you don't have to worry about this too much.

To learn more about dental implants, keep reading here.

Dental crown

Dental crowns are similar to veneers, but instead of replacing every one of your teeth, we'll only replace the ones that are affected. This is a great alternative that can save you money, as long as there aren't too many teeth that need replacing. We'll remove some of the natural teeth so we can fit the cap over the top of it, bonding them together so they last for around 15 years.

Dental crowns aren't as permanent as veneers, but they still require some of the natural tooth to be removed. They're also quite expensive, and there is a slight chance that they'll come unattached prematurely.

To learn more about dental crowns, keep reading here.

Dental bonding

Not all pacifier teeth are major dental issues, so we might be able to use dental bonding to fix them. We'll use composite resin material to lengthen your teeth before curing them and filing them to the correct shape. Once we're happy with the newly bonded tooth, we'll polish it to look similar to your other teeth - simple!

Dental bonding is a reversible procedure, which means that if your teeth settle and continue to fix themselves, we'll be able to remove the bonding material to let your natural teeth shine through. However, if this doesn't happen, we'll need to replace the bonding every three to seven years. Dental bonding is a great option to fix pacifier teeth if you don't want to deal with more permanent solutions that require altering the integrity of your natural teeth.

To learn more about dental bonding, keep reading here.

Final thoughts

Pacifier teeth aren't that common in adulthood, although it is possible when you've been exposed to prolonged pacifier use after your adult teeth have begun growing through. Thumb sucking habits can also cause pacifier teeth. When untreated, pacifier teeth can lead to a number of dental issues like tooth decay and self-confidence issues. Luckily, there are some treatment options for you to consider, including braces, veneers, dental bonding, and crowns. We'll be able to talk you through all of your options once we assess your pacifier teeth, so don't hesitate to contact your dentist today!

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