Binky Tree


“Give It Up!”

Northville, Mich. – Children from the Michigan communities of Northville, Livonia and Canton were on hand to “give it up” for the Tooth Fairy.  They brought their pacifiers to hang on a newly introduced Binky Tree. The dedication of the Binky Tree took place in Ford Field, in Northville, Michigan on Thursday, June 3, 2004.  Jeff Moon, Superintendent of Northville Parks and Recreation was on hand along with William S. Demray, DDS for the ceremony.    It has been reported that there is a European capital where parents have designated a large tree to be the pacifier tree. Once a year children travel from all over to hang outgrown pacifiers on its branches.  It is believed the tree in Northville, MI is the first U.S. pacifier tree.

Doctors, dentists and other trained professionals believe that children are born to suck.  This is a natural behavior that allows them to learn to eat and therefore grow.  Pacifiers can be helpful but they are not intrinsically needed beyond 10-12 months.  However, most children do not give up their pacifiers on their own until 2-to-4 years old.  The mission to convince a toddler to “give it up” is often a difficult and exhausting one. It is a common battle regardless of race, color, creed or economic influence. The consequences of prolonged use are universal.  After 12 months it can begin to interfere with speech development.  An American Academy of Pediatrics study showed a reduction of 33% the number of ear infections in children who gave up the pacifier use between six and ten months, due to middle ear pressure changes. After four to five years the dental community begins to see difficulties with the shape of the roof of the mouth and the position of the teeth.

Dr. William Demray sought the help of the Parks and Recreation Department in the City of Northville to try and make the rite of passage for children to grow, grow, grow up with a little tree that they can watch throughout their lifetime. The dedication was a special occasion for many, including the Tooth Fairy who placed the first ceremonial binky at the very top of the tree.  Demray donated the tree to the local park where children frequently visit a nearby playscape.  The pacifiers are hung on the tree with brightly colored fasteners so the symbolism is easy to see.  “It is our hope to have an annual ceremony where groups of children will see others giving up their pacifiers and it will encourage them to join in.  We hope to keep it festive.” According to Demray, “This could catch on, and other communities will plant trees. When we are copied, it will be the most sincere form of flattery, and children everywhere will benefit!”

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About William S. Demray, DDS

Dr. Demray has a private general dentistry practice in Northville, which he established in 1977.  It is a family based practice with an emphasis in preservation dentistry.  He is the principal founder of Preservation Dental.  Demray is licensed in Michigan, Illinois, and the state of Washington. He is a member of several local, state and international dental associations. Additionally, he’s been personally involved in the Northville community for more than 25 years.  The offices of Preservation Dental  is located in a historic home on the corner of Griswold and Main, which has been recognized and honored by the Northville Beautification Commission with numerous awards. As a resident of Northville, William Demray has volunteered his time and talents serving the community on the Planning Commission, Downtown Development Authority and is currently on the Northville Economic Development Corporation.

 “Grow, grow, grow up with me.  It’s time to leave your binky on me.”