Make nose breathing a habit
Help you baby breathe better with Nuk
Why shouldn’t your baby habitually breathe through the mouth?

Your nose is designed to warm, moisten and filter the air that you breathe. Excessive mouth breathing can be problematic because air is not filtered and warmed as much as when it’s inhaled through the nose. This could possibly result in a wide range of respiratory and allergic conditions for your baby.

The importance of correct breathing

Dr Douw van der Merwe is a dentist who has been practising for many years. He is a passionate advocate of the benefits of correct breathing. He comments, “When someone breathes through their mouth, they breathe polluted air, with all its allergens, straight into the lungs without having this air filtered. The lungs of babies and children are especially sensitive and need to be protected.” He further points out, “It’s important to breathe through the nose because, as well as purifying polluted air, the nasal passages ensure that air reaches the lungs at the correct humidity and temperature. In my practice, I see children with sinusitis, bronchitis and gingivitis which appear to be directly related to mouth breathing. When I encourage these children to breathe through their noses they appear to be far less prone to allergies and infections.”

How to encourage the “nose breathing” habit

Dr Van der Merwe is a keen advocate of orthodontic dummies. He says, “In particular, I am most impressed with the German orthodontic brand of dummies. I have been recommending NUK dummies to expectant mothers for many years. I find that a NUK dummy fits snugly underneath the nose of a baby and seals off the mouth in such a way that correct suction is assisted and mouth breathing is prevented.” He advocates the use of an orthodontic dummy until the age of about three years. If your child habitually breathes through his mouth, he needs to be examined by a dentist or a medical professional who can identify and treat the problem appropriately. It is Dr Van der Merwe’s contention that the use of a dummy from early on in your baby’s life will assist correct breathing as it helps to create the habit of nose breathing. For more information please contact Dr Douw van der Merwe at

The NUK dummy was designed by Professor Balters and Dr Muller – both orthodontists – in answer to a call by the German government for a solution to rapidly increasing jaw development problems, experienced after World War 2. The solution was the NUK orthodontic shape. NUK is short for Natuerlich und Kiefergerecht, loosely translated as “natural and correct for the jaw”. The NUK dummy exercises the jaw, in the correct way, between feeds.

The NUK dummy allows your child to suck for comfort, while you as a parent can rest assured that the orthodontic design will not interfere with his orthodontic development and at the same time encourage correct breathing.

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