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I just took ds (3 1/4 years) to the dentist for the first time today and he did great. He let her clean his teeth and he had no cavities. However, she said he has a 4 mm "overjet" and asked if he still uses a pacifier. He does, he is very dependent on it at night to the point that he will search for it in his sleep and put it in his mouth without ever opening his eyes.

She said if we take it away now, the overjet would correct itself but by 4 years of age it will be too late, and it may even be too late now. I was in braces for years and still remember the pain and embarassment that it caused me as a teenager. I do not want ds to have to go through this.

On the other hand, he is going through a lot of emotional turmoil right now because he is very jealous of his baby sister. I know some amount of jealousy is normal but he has undergone a complete personality change. He is very irritable, whiny, clingy, and just overall sad. I know a lot of this is also age-appropriate behavior but I can attribute a lot of it to his jealousy as well.

So, I hate to cause additional emotional turmoil by taking away something he has slept with for almost 3 years. (I gave it to him initially because I used to not feel comfortable nursing while lying down, I was tired of sitting up every hour, and it was easier to just pop it in his mouth whenever he started to wake up.)

My mother said he would be better equipped to deal with braces later than dealing with the loss of his binky at such a difficult time. I remember having braces, and I am pretty sure I disagree with her. However, I obviously haven't decided yet, since I am posting this.

What would you do?

If you decided to take it away, how would you do it? The dentist suggested bringing them to her so she could give them to the binky fairy and give him a treat. I am not a big fan of things like this, similar to weaning parties, because I don't think children who are very young can understand the concept of permanence. Yes, they get a treat now, but they will never get their binky back.

Thanks for any advice!
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