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A 38-year-old member asked:

Is there anything odd or developmentally problematic with a teenager using a pacifier instead of drugs or alcohol as coping with problem?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Yes & no: Since sensation in the lips sends pleasure messages to the brain i can see where one might develop a pacifier fettish ( keeping it within the privacy of their private space). It is likely more sanitary than nail biting, smoking, boozing etc. Yet other issues arise. I believe many young adults use pacifiers to control the teeth grinding common in ingestion of various rave drugs. Is this a concern?
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Evelyn Hurvitz
Pediatrics 38 years experience
Yes: Pacifier use is infantile behavior. A teenager who uses a pacifier is not behaving appropriately for his/her age. Gum may be a more acceptable alternative.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Oct 1, 2013
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