Dummies have proved to be really helpful during the first few months, helping the child to settle and sleep as the sucking actions soothe the baby. For many parents, dummies are a real sanity-saver. A crying baby can be easy to manage with a pacifier. However, it can be true to say that prolonged use of dummy can damage the baby’s dental health and also be associated with speech disturbances. Many dental problems like anterior open bite, top teeth sticking out are observed in children who use it regularly. These dental disturbances can later be a cause of low self-esteem, shyness and other psychological disturbances. However, there is no need to panic, there is a good news. Children at early age are growing quite rapidly and if you quit dummy early, you can definitely see improvement in your child’s teeth as they can grow in their correct positions without the dummy hindering their growth.
When should you stop giving your child dummy?
Not all parents are lucky enough that their child gives up dummy them self. This is very rare and most of the times, the parents have to intervene and go through a serious struggle to have their child stop taking the dummy. It is suggested by the NHS to stop giving the child dummy by the age of 1 in order to minimise the effects of dental health. It is best to prevent than cure which is why it is recommended to make sure that your child does not take dummy before the eruption of his first tooth which is mostly age1. It is ideal if your age does not use a dummy after his first birthday!
Tips to stop dummy use
Stopping the use of dummy before the first birthday is comparatively easier because the child by then has not developed emotional attachment to the dummy. You can start by giving the dummy for naps or bedtime, later bedtime and then stopping its use completely. Take it out of your baby’s life gradually and slowly.
If the baby if older, then different strategies would be needed to phase out the stronger emotional bond with the dummy. The resistance is almost the same as losing a toy or teddy for an older baby which is why creative ways are required to have the child quit using dummy. You can prepare them with books or toys and even talk them out of it if they are old enough. Rewards can also be given for positive effects. So with smarter techniques and good parenting you can control the disaster that may be caused by the overuse of dummy. Also make sure that you never ever dip the pacifier in something sweet to encourage the child to like it! It is havoc for the dental health. Do not clean the pacifier with your mouth also; it transfers bacteria to the baby’s mouth which is normally not present there.