Effects of current and former pacifier use on the dentition of 24- to 59-month-old children

Pediatr Dent. Nov-Dec 1995;17(7):437-44.


Two hundred eighteen children ages 24-59 months participated in a study to examine the effect of pacifier use on the occlusion of the primary dentition. A questionnaire was used to gain information on habit history. Eighty-two children were current or former users of functional exercisers, 38 had a history of conventional pacifier use, and 98 had no history of oral habits. Compared to children with no habit, those with a history of pacifier use had a significantly larger mean overjet (P < 0.001), as well as significantly higher occurrences of Class II primary canines (P = 0.015), distal step molars (P = 0.014), openbite (P = 0.001), and posterior crossbite (P = 0.025). Compared to users of conventional pacifiers, users of functional exercisers had a significantly higher occurrence of Class II primary canines (P = 0.013) and distal step molars (P = 0.037). Pacifier use time in months was significantly higher for children with openbite (P = 0.02) and posterior crossbite (P = 0.019). Compared to former pacifier users, those with current habits had a significantly higher prevalence of openbite (P = 0.002) and posterior crossbite (P = 0.001), and a greater mean openbite (P = 0.19). The reported number of hours use per day was not related to any aspect of the occlusion of pacifier users. African-American and European-American children began their habits at about the same age and used their pacifiers for an equivalent number of hours per day. Among those who had discontinued their habits, African-American children had maintained theirs for a significantly shorter period (P < 0.001), leading to a longer elapsed time between habit discontinuation and the examination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child Behavior
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cuspid / pathology
  • Dental Occlusion*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Habits
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Care*
  • Male
  • Malocclusion / pathology
  • Malocclusion, Angle Class II / pathology
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth, Deciduous*