SOOTH­ING HOME TRUTHS

Thumb-suck­ing can lead to a se­ri­ous over­bite. This is the so­lu­tion that can help

Your Pregnancy - - Feature -

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.

YP

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

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