Pacifiers, binkies, or dummies and your adult teeth
Many adult babies and littles have concerns about using a pacifier, binky, or dummy regularly and how it may affect their adult teeth. There are rumors that using these devices often may cause adult teeth to shift out of alignment. Some people also have concerns about developing cavities due to use of these soothers, and others have concerns about them becoming choking hazards during sleep. There may actually be medical benefit to these adult sized toys.
The first major concern for adults is the possibility that using a pacifier for extended periods may cause their teeth to move out of position. The truth is that this is a possibility, but could only truly occur if the device is being used in extreme amounts and quite excessively while being too small of a size for the mouth. To reposition adult teeth an adult would need to suck against a device for many hours each and every single day for a period of months. The realignment of the teeth would be gradual but their gums would become tender, or even sore, from the migration. The discomfort itself would likely cause an adult to discontinue use of the product. Because most adult babies and littles use pacifiers only during sleeping or only during short sessions throughout the day they should not be concerned about their teeth shifting.
Adults who use pacifiers often are also concerned about developing excessive cavities. The truth is that using a pacifier may certainly help to increase cavities if good oral hygiene is not present. It's important for adults to brush their teeth well before using a pacifier so food debris does not linger on and in between their teeth while during a pacifier. A good solution to this issue is light teeth brushing and flossing followed by a quick oral rinse before using the pacifier each session and directly before sleep. The pacifier should also be washed in between uses to prevent a build up of bacteria.
Another major concern of adult babies and littles is that the pacifier itself may cause choking during sleep if it isn't adult sized. A pacifier would only pose a potential choking risk if it was small enough to easily slip into the mouth and be swallowed whole. An adult should never put the entire pacifier shield into their mouths and should never use a pacifier that was designed smaller than the child's sized version.
Adult sized pacifiers are medical devices that were created with the intentions of reducing snoring and bettering medical conditions such as sleep apnea. Many patients prescribed the device report better quality sleep and wake to feel more rested. Over time, many patients reported health conditions, such as sleep apnea, greatly improving when using the device as a nightly routine. Other types of patients who suffer from oral fixation habits and, in some cases, overeating or smoking have found benefit in using these devices at home to reduce cravings and satisfy their immediate desire to chew items or smoke.
The truth is that if one uses the device moderately, practice good oral hygiene, and purchase items only designed for human use then pacifiers, binkies, and dummies should be safe. A person suffering from conditions such as sleep apnea or nightly snoring may find medical benefit from the device other than the luxury of feeling more personal comfort. Perhaps, at a time in the future, these devices will become more of a staple for bedtime routines and will be generally considered a necessity to a good night's rest.
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