FAIRHOPE,Ala. (WKRG) — Little Kamden finds comfort from his pacifier, but his mother Jade Joiner worried that the pacifier might create a problem for Kamden’s teeth. So, she switched him to the Cutie Pat, a pacifier with a different shape.
“I am very thankful for it,” said Joiner. “I even noticed, that at first, I could tell the open bite was starting to form and I even noticed the progression slowed down some, and it’s not as fast, and he is even talking more.”
Fairhope pediatric dentist Dr. Trey Fellers invented the Cutie Pat Smile, now owned by Cutie Pat company out of Lakeland, Tennessee. Dr. Fellers now prescribes it for young patients having a hard time saying goodbye to the pacifier.
“I started looking at pacifiers and saying you know, I think I can make one better, I think I can make one that is more ergonomic, less causative to those negative issues I am seeing everyday,” said Fellers.
Specifically, Dr. Fellers changed the shape of the pacifier nipple, so that it fit comfortably into a typical child’s mouth and did not press teeth out of shape.
Dr. Fellers said he sees at least one patient a day with bite issues and mouth issues due to using a pacifier for too long.
“What is causing this, which leads to this and how can we prevent this from happening,?” said Fellers said.
“I just kept drawing and thinking about the growth and development of kids and the way that the mouth forms when they are sucking,” said Fellers. “Shapes of pacifiers there are out there and then what’s affecting and causing the negative effects that it’s causing.”
Dr. Fellers said the normal age for a baby to stop using a pacifier is two years old, but for some, a pacifier acts as a comfort.
So, he designed the Cutie Pat so some children can use it past two-years-old with no harm to their mouths.
“It’s really nice now that there is something out here that can kind of help prevent that for other parents who are dealing with a kid who is addicted to the pacifier,” said Joiner.