I’m no dentist, just a mom, but I find it only logical to associate a bad “bite” and poor teeth alignment with prolonged sucking of a dummy or ones thumb.
This common perception and truth does come with its ifs, buts and ors and the value of having a dummy is often thought to outweigh the negative affect that it can have on your child’s “perfect smile”.
Whether you call it a binkie, a dummy, a soother or a pacifier it is often used to settle and comfort a baby. Mothers breast is not always available and soothers are a convenient substitute. It is also said that soothers help in the prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) as baby does not fall into such a deep sleep and the airspace around the nose and mouth are open, which ensures enough oxygen.
Many parenting books say that the good news about a dummy is that you can be in control of it (yip right – I definitely feel like that when my baby throws a temper tantrum for her dummy and won’t stop screaming until I give it to her – Score: Baby 1 Mommy 0). In all honesty at least you can throw a dummy away when your baby is ready (in my case we gave them over to the fairy’s babies) as opposed to cutting off your babies finger if they are a thumb sucker (was that too harsh??).
Apart from the marvelous, situation saving benefits (when your baby is screaming their heads off) of the soother the question about affecting baby’s mouth development including speech development still lingered in my mind, so I set out to find the real answers and who else to turn to for answers than NUK who is the Orthodontist’s Choice when it comes to soothers, and this aligns its self perfectly with the fact that October is Oral health month.
NUK soothers have been designed to replicate the shape and action of a mothers nipple during breast feeding, so that the soother fits perfectly into the babies mouth.
Apart from satisfying the sucking desire, the benefit of a soother is that it trains and strengthens the jaw bones and muscles which helps baby eat and speak at a later stage.
The a-symmetrical shape of the soother, which is “orthodontically” shaped helps prevent crooked teeth and bad positioning of the jaw.
What’s the story with different aged soothers, or is that just a marketing gimmick forcing you to spend more on unnecessary items?
As your baby’s mouth grows and changes shape, so must the soother size and shape. Not only to satisfy the sucking desire but also to ensure correct placement of the tongue and positioning of the jaw.
NUK soothers have taken every step of mouth development into consideration and offer soothers from 0-36 months with their size 0 soother being suitable for prem or underweight newborns.
In my intensive research I picked up 3 interesting points that may seem obvious but that are often overlooked:
- Never dip the soother into medicine or sweet substances as this can cause tooth decay.
- DO NOT PANIC if your child puts the whole soother in its mouth. It has been designed so that it cannot be swallowed and it also allows for sufficient breathing through its holes on the sides.
- It’s important to replace soothers every 1-2 months as the soothers material may have become weakened, posing a risk to baby and also decreasing the sucking satisfaction.
Latex versus Silicone?
NUK offers different soothers made from different materials to suit your babies needs and your lifestyle:
Latex is a natural product which s warm and it is very elastic, extremely resilient and particularly flexible. It does not build up static electricity, so it does not attract dust. That keeps the soother germ-free. It can also be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way.
Silicone is a material which is easy to clean and is particularly heat-resistant. It is free from harmful substances, boil-proof, odourless, transparent and has a smooth surface.
Both substances in their correct state assist in correct jaw formation, helping to prevent misaligned teeth.
It’s no secret that NUK spends a fair amount of resources on research and product development with various experts to continually improve their products and I know that this factor is why parents trust NUK when selecting soothers.
Not only are the NUK soothers perfect for looking after baby’s smile, but they are always coming out with new colors and designs to keep up with trends, so you can be sure that your baby is not only beautiful but also a super fashionista, something that sucking a thumb just can’t provide. (Score: Mommy 1 Baby 1)
Stand the chance of winning an Oral Care Hamper from NUK! There is one for a girl and one for a boy up for grabs and includes: a soother, a soother chain, a soother cover, a gum brush and a teether! All you have to do is share a picture of your baby’s #PerfectSmile to our Facbeook Page!