The Dental Health Foundation advises against using dummies. That's because dummies can cause problems while your baby's teeth are growing and developing.The longer your baby uses a dummy, the more chance there is that the structure of his mouth will be affected. This in turn can affect how his teeth, and his permanent teeth later on, meet when he closes his mouth or when he bites.
Common problems include: A crossbite, when the upper teeth are behind the lower teeth, rather than in front of them. An overbite, when the front teeth project over the lower teeth. You should never dip your baby's dummy into anything sweet such as honey. Honey should not be given to babies before they are a year old as it may contain harmful bacteria. Honey or sugar can also cause tooth decay. According to the Dental Health Foundation.
So here are a few ways to encourage your child to get up their dummy.
The Goldfish Swap
Explain in advance to your local pet shop that you want to buy your child a fish to encourage them to give up their dummies. Just wrap the dummies in an envelope and ask if they would mind solemnly accepting them in exchange when you come in with your child to choose a fish.
Post it to a ‘small’ child
As well all know, the biggest compliment we can give a child is that they’re ‘big’ and ‘grown up’. Tell them that a small baby needs their dummies now. Write the letter with your child to this mysterious 'small baby' and let them lead the posting so they feel responsible and proud. Just post the package to someone you know will kindly throw them out when they receive them!
Use the dummy as ‘toy money’
Take your child to a toy shop and say that when you get to a certain age your dummies turns into ‘toy money’. They’ll be amazed they can choose a toy and pay with their dummies! Just clear this with the staff beforehand because they might think you've gone a bit mad.
Plant the dummy in the back garden with some seeds and tell them now that it’s helped them grow big (yep, you can definitely see a pattern here!) it has to help a plant or a flower grow big too.
Read a ‘give up the dummy’ book
There are lots of great books on the market to help little ones give up the soothers such as Bea/Ben Gives Up Her Dummy and Florrie the Dummy Fairy.