Is it ok to use a dummy (pacifier)?
Firstly, let accept it – sucking is a basic infantile instinct. According to the British Dental Association and the current evidence suggests there is little reason for concern unless the habit is prolonged or inappropriate.
Ok, what does that mean for my child?
If the benefits of pacifier use outweigh the long-term risks then so be it. If it allows the already challenging task of parenting newborns a little easier and helps comfort your baby, so be it!
So are there any problems with using a dummy?
Repeated use of a dummy over long periods of time could cause potential changes in the structure of your child’s dental development which may then require intervention. Therefore it is ideal to stop the use of the dummy beyond the first year of life to reduce the chances of dental issues later.
However, most importantly, never coat or dip your dummy into anything with honey or any sugars. Not only does it make the habit harder to wean in children, but it also significantly increases the risk for tooth decay.
How to stop our child using the dummy?
Sadly, there is no dummy’s guide to giving up dummy’s! It mostly depends on your child’s temperament and age. Some children prefer the habit being weaned away slowly over a period while others may be suited to going “cold turkey”. Imaginative play and stories with characters often help, that may involve the “tooth fairy, dummy fairy, superhero”, that either take the dummy away to other children that need it or swap it for a better toy. Some children may respond to reading books about “dummies”. Our personal favourites are “I want my dummy” by Tony Ross and “The last noo-noo” by Jill Murphy