As a parent, one of the last things you naturally think about is the development of your child’s teeth until you visit the dentist and are made aware of how your child’s teeth are developing. The aspect of a child’s healthy development is natural, such as using a pacifier or dummy sucking.
When toddlers’ thumbs suck, it helps them feel calmer. Although, thumb sucking is linked to poor tooth development in children. Pacifiers are also another thing that can impact tooth development.
Let’s break this down for you to understand dummy teeth and what you need to know.
The Issues Dummies Cause To Dummy Teeth
If your child uses a dummy regularly, then you’re impacting your child’s tooth development in a negative direction. Here’s how:
- Teeth Positioning – Mouth development also includes ensuring healthy tooth development. When a child uses a dummy, this can cause an issue with your child’s biting point, where the upper teeth may grow further outward than expected. Improper teeth positioning can also have an impact on speech development. So, when a child bites down, the back teeth bite down, but the front upper and lower teeth may not touch together when attempting to close the mouth.
- Mouth Breathing – With dummies, a child may start breathing through their mouth rather than their nose.
- Speech Issues – As mentioned, dummies can hinder your child’s ability to speak without any issues, such as a reduction in tongue movement and speech sounds.
- Tooth Decay – If the dummy is regularly worn without being washed, the dummy may attract sugar that remains inside their mouth after eating. This can lead to bacteria build-up in your mouth and will eventually lead to tooth decay.
Can A Dummy Still Be Used?
Yes, a dummy can still be used as there are more responsible ways your child can use one without heavily influencing any dental problems. Understand how your child is using a pacifier. Using it aggressively and vigorously may also be an indication of stress, but this can impact your child’s mouth and tooth development. Ensure that your child uses the dummy passively.
Equally, make sure that the dummy is cleaned every day. This includes ensuring that your child’s mouth is clean before placing the dummy back into their mouth. This will limit any bacteria build-up inside the mouth.
When Can I Use A Dummy?
A dummy can still be used, but in moderation, and it’s recommended that a dummy is used when your child has gone to sleep. Reduce the amount of time your child uses a dummy when they’re walking about during the daytime. You should also avoid using a dummy when you’re trying to calm your child as well.
Is It Recommended To Avoid Using A Dummy Altogether?
If you’re conscious of your child’s mouth development, a recommendation is for your child to avoid using a dummy altogether. Most children drop the sucking habit when they reach two years or higher. This is where their teeth begin to erupt, meaning the use of a dummy should be even more delicate.
Typically, parents are advised that children drop using a dummy when they reach six months. After six months, your child’s mouth develops, such as growing jaw muscles. It can be harder for children to drop the habit if they use it longer than six months.
Thumb sucking is also a habit that should be reduced. Children’s thumbs suck if they’re feeling anxious or need comforting. Focus on why your child is feeling this way, as you’ll notice that they’ll begin to thumb-suck more than usual.
Therefore, it is recommended that a dummy be used in moderation. Understanding why your child’s thumb sucks will go a long way in helping you as a parent understand why your child is thumb-sucking.
If you’re seeking support with your child’s mouth development, then ask your dentist all the relevant questions in person or over the phone.