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19 February 2016

Is your baby’s dummy doing more harm than good? Here’s what you need to know.

Here at our Surbiton dentist in KT6, we strive to be a family-friendly practice which means we care for patients of all ages. We perform maintenance, cosmetic and general dentistry, in fact whatever is required in line with the personal circumstances of our patients. Another important aspect of our work is a wide range of preventative procedures, which is a combination of education and treatment.

This preventative work is so important as it means patients avoid potentially invasive and expensive treatment down the line, because they understand what it needed to keep their teeth looking and feeling great.

With this in mind, we thought it would be useful for you to read a few general tips on babies and the use of dummies. These can have a negative effect on a child’s oral development, so it’s really good to consider the facts when thinking about your child and their dummy.


A malocclusion is basically a problematic ‘bite’  – the way the teeth sit together. So when a baby or a young child sucks their dummy or thumb consistently, the alignment of the teeth suffer and they begin to grow crooked. Anterior open bite is the most common malocclusion problem associated with dummy sucking. This is where the back teeth will touch but the front teeth are separated by a large gap. Any malocclusion can cause long-term problems for a child and often orthodontics are required to correct the issues.

They Are Not All Bad

Here at your local Surbiton family dentist, we see children who use dummies until they are 18 months to 2 years old and then stop using them, without suffering any long term issues because the teeth realign at this early age. Of course every child is different, but a widely shared opinion is that dummies are safe (in terms of oral issues) for occasional use for children under the age of two in relation to long-term damage.

Adult Teeth Can Suffer

Children who are still using a dummy at the age of five or older face some pretty serious issues as their adult teeth can suffer. Baby teeth tend to be lost around this age, so if a child still uses a dummy the process can be affected. When adult teeth come through during the wrong stage of development, long-term dental issues may be a problem.

Other Issues

Dummies are thought to be associated with certain types of ear infection and language development in children. Clearly if a child has an object in their mouth whilst they try to learn how to say certain words, it will affect the way they shape their mouth to say certain words.

Talk To Confidental Clinic In Surbiton About Your Child And Their Dummy

If you’re at all concerned about your child using a dummy, please chat with us about it at your child’s next appointment at the clinic. With our guidance and regular checkups, your child is in the best possible hands. Please call us on 02083991291 and we will be more than happy to discuss this further with you.

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