malmin orthodontics blog

Can Dummies Do Any Damage To a Baby’s Teeth?

Most parents would never really think that a soft dummy handed out to their child to pacify it would do any damage. It’s only when the adult teeth have finished erupting and you notice your child’s teeth aren’t as straight as they should be,  that you may start to wonder if it’s something you have done that’s caused the affliction.

Unless your child is liable to have outbursts of either crying or calling out loudly after the age of 5 or more, it’s unlikely he or she will need a dummy and this is before the development of adult teeth.  Any damage done before the age of 5 or 6 will correct itself very quickly after the dummy is found to be no longer necessary. The sorts of problems that could occur include what is called an open bite, which affects the lower and upper front teeth but this will improve on its own once the use of the dummy has stopped.

Finger or thumb sucking

There is more of a correlation between finger or thumb sucking and misaligned teeth than sucking on a dummy. This can occur if the habit goes well past the age of 7 when adult teeth are starting to establish themselves. In fact, almost 15 percent of children engage in this habit.

If a dummy is needed after the age of 6 or 7, or thumb and finger sucking continues to persist, it’s wise to ask your dentist to counsel your child before the problem gets out of hand. Misaligned and crooked teeth not only cause problems with chewing wholesome food, but can spoil your child’s smile if the teeth don’t look straight.

Dummies should not be sweetened

Some parents think that providing sweets to their children acts as a useful energy source, so dipping a dummy in a sweet mixture before putting it in your child’s mouth is seen as okay. Dentists don’t agree as they are fully aware of not only damage that’s done to teeth such as early tooth decay caused by the influence of sweet substances but children can get addicted to sweets which is hard to give up. The statement ‘having a sweet tooth’ is linked only to those who have become accustomed to eating too many sweets or other sugar laden treats.

What can cause crooked teeth?

Often there is not much you can do if you find your child’s adult teeth don’t appear uniformly straight. Ensure your child sees your dentist regularly so any sign of crooked teeth can alert your dentist. Ensure that one of our Malmin orthodontists checks the progress of the growth of adult teeth until braces treatment becomes the only way to control the problem. It is better to straighten out the problem at a younger age so that your child can benefit from higher self-esteem and be able to eat a more beneficial diet with a full set of straight teeth. Don’t delay, but arrange an appointment at Malmin Orthodontics where an orthodontist will ensure the best outcome for your child.



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