I let DD sleep with her pacifier until she was 3, but she couldn't take it out anywhere. At 3 we explained that she was too old, and she got over it. I figured school-age was too old. A lot of people told us that it would ruin her teeth but her doctor said it wouldn't be a problem unless she used it past getting adult teeth, at which point most kids have outgrown the sucking instinct. Since she didn't take it out of bed it didn't affect eating or talking. And we could avoid getting dirty looks out in public.