SOOTHING HOME TRUTHS
Thumb-sucking can lead to a serious overbite. This is the solution that can help
WHEN MY SON Mikhail was 10 months old, I took his NUK dummy away. I had heard about children who still sucked their dummies at three or four years of age and I didn’t want this to be the case with my son. He cried and cried – and then he discovered his index finger! Mik sucked his finger for the next six years and by the time he turned seven, he had developed serious buck teeth. Our dentist told us that if Mik fell on his face, he could cause damage to his permanent teeth. One of the orthodontists we saw about the problem also explained that Mik had an inherited malocclusion (overbite) that had been exacerbated by him sucking his finger. Correcting it had cost us R40 000 in orthodontist fees by 2001, but this was nothing compared to the psychological pain Mik experienced (not to mention the discomfort of having to wear braces). Now that Mik is 16, he will soon be having his braces removed. When our daughter Olivia was born, a month before Mikhail turned 10, I was much wiser about dental health because I was working for NUK. NUK is short for Natuerlich und Kiefergerecht, loosely translated into English as “natural and correct for the jaw”. The NUK dummy exercises the jaw in the correct way between feeds. If only I’d known this when Mik was a baby! When Olivia turned two, we started to limit her daytime dummy use, and she quickly learned that her “nummy” was only for sleep time. She eventually gave it up by herself when she turned three. I recently read an interesting study conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which found that children going to sleep with a soother have a considerably reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), one of the leading causes of death worldwide among infants under the age of one year. It was shown that using a dummy halves the risk of SIDS from one in 2 000 to one in 4 000. NUK soothers and the entire NUK range is BPA free. We are proud to say that we were the first brand to introduce a BPA free plastic bottle in 2006 and support CANSA in their efforts to inform the public at large on the potential dangers of BPA.
Mik’s jaw demonstrates the body’s amazing ability to adapt around a physical intervention
Mik, 13, and Olivia, 3. The results of Mik’s finger sucking are evident