Although this soothing habit can help comfort some children, in the long term it can cause some problems.
Different resources say different things. A specialist children’s dentist (paediatric dentist) once told me that if your little one is using a dummy or sucking their thumb, there’s no reason to worry until after the age of 4yo. After this, issues like overbites and openbites can arise. Kept uncheck, this may lead to future treatment involving plates and braces.
Other resources say to try to wean off the habit by the time children are 1yo otherwise it may interfere with speech development.
My advice is the earlier the better. As with any habit, the earlier we stop it, the easier it is to stop. Here’s a couple of tips:
- Just like the “tooth fairy”, try to introduce the idea of a “dummy fairy” who will come at night and replace the dummy with a small gift.
- Encourage your children to become attached to a blanket or soft toy instead.