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The Girl Next Door

Suri Cruise, Nearly 5, Will Use a Pacifier as Long as She Wants

By Rob Shuter

The Cruise family is no stranger to controversy when it comes to their trendsetting daughter, Suri. In the past two years, critics have analyzed her love of high heels, quirky dresses and lipstick, and now she's been spotted in Vancouver with a pacifier in her mouth. The problem, of course, is that she's nearly 5, but anyone expecting Tom or Katie to be the ones to yank that binky anytime soon should think again.

"Suri just isn't told 'no' very often," an insider tells me. "Scientology encourages you to make your own decisions and learn lessons as you live your life. She'll know herself when it's time to throw the pacifier away, plain and simple."

Tom is the world's most famous Scientologist, and his wife quickly took to the religion, which has been a part of Suri's life from the moment she was born. When Katie gave birth in April 2006, signs reminding everyone to be silent were posted because it is believed a "silent birth" is the ideal way to enter the world.

"Their religion and beliefs are a huge part of who Tom and Katie are as individuals and parents," a friend of the couple's tells me. "It's not like they would not tell Suri not to touch a fire or run across the street, but certain things, they want her to decide herself, including when she feels it's the right time to stop using a pacifier."

Let's hope the Cruise family dentist doesn't hear about this binky business. Some of the main reasons against pacifiers is that it can impede the proper growth of one's teeth and mouth. According to experts, including the Academy of General Dentistry, prolonged use can even cause changes in the shape of the roof of your mouth.

What do you think? Should Tom and Katie leave Suri alone or step in and throw it away?