Will Using a Dummy Damage My Child's Teeth?

As a dentist myself, this has to be one of the most common questions I'm asked by new parents. Very kindly, Claire Stevens, Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry and author of the "Tooth Fairy Blog" has allowed us to share her expert advice on the topic!

As a children’s dentist I am often asked, “Will using a dummy damage my child’s teeth?” Infact it’s a subject many of you are searching for here on toothfairyblog. Prolonged pacifier use is also a real hot topic of late, in most thanks to THAT image of Harper Beckham.  Is it any surprise that the story of Harper using a dummy at the age of 4 went viral?  Probably not.  However, I am sure that there were many parents who were secretly able to relate to the predicament in which the Beckham’s found themselves.  So are dummies a parenting godsend or unnecessary evil?

You can read the full article by following this link. This includes information on the advantages of using a dummy, when you should try to wean your child off their dummy and some top tips for this sometimes troublesome process.

As a quick 'sneak-peek' here are Claire's dos and don'ts for dummy use:

  • Never dip a dummy in anything sweet to encourage your child to accept it – this is a recipe for disaster as far as teeth are concerned as sugar is in direct contact with the teeth for a prolonged time.
  • Do not ‘clean’ a dummy by putting it in your own mouth – this can transfer bacteria which would not normally be in your child’s mouth.
  • If you want to allow your child a dummy after the age of one, consider a thin necked pacifier which may reduce the likelihood of dental disturbances.
  • Try to minimise dummy use to when it is really needed, rather than providing it out of habit.  It should make your life easier in the long run.

The Tooth Fairy Blog is a fantastic resource for advice on a range of topics from teething to brushing. Very similarly to ourselves, Claire realised "that there was a shortage of accessible, user-friendly, evidence-based information on how to care for children’s teeth" so set up her blog to give as many parents as possible a helping hand.