A healthy mouth
Looking after your baby’s teeth and mouth is easy with help from NUK.
It’s amazing to think that so many of the decisions you make today will affect your child throughout her lifetime. All the loving, good nutrition and stimulation you give her will have benefits for decades to come.

Looking after your baby’s teeth and mouth is crucial, as it can prevent cavities, the need for orthodontic treatment, and even the loss of teeth in the future. Sucking is a power ful reflex in babies, as it ensures their growth and survival. But did you know that sucking also influences the development of your baby’s mouth and teeth? Here’s the latest research from Japan.

Dr Yosiyuki Imai of Japan has recently published an article in the Nippon Dental Review regarding the development of a healthy mouth. This campaign is aimed at ensuring that the children of today keep at least 20 of their own teeth by the time they reach 80.

According to Dr Imai, the disorderly arrangement of the teeth is a major problem – not to mention the expense of orthodontic treatment, it is often a contributing factor in the loss of teeth. Dr Imai’s research describes how breastfeeding is the best for the oral development of the baby. The sucking motion exercises the mouth, tongue and jaw, and stimulates proper development. Sucking at the breast is actually quite hard work! Your baby needs to stimulate your breasts, pushing the breast against his hard palate. Her tongue, lips and mouth are all involved in a surprisingly complex motion.

Dr Imai believes that this motion exercises the jaws – helping to push the lower jaw forward to the correct position – and also aligns the teeth correctly. Dr Imai adds that if babies are bottlefed, it is important to use an artificial teat and bottle that can create behaviour similar to natural sucking behaviour. If a teat is the wrong shape or its hole is the wrong size, your baby will not be exercising his jaws correctly, and may not be “working” hard enough at getting the milk out. Dr Imai recommends the NUK teat, which he says emulates the sucking motion of a breastfed baby, and to assist in the proper development of the teeth and jaw.

What about a dummy?

Moms often wonder about whether to introduce a dummy, and what the long-term effects might be. Dr Imai recommends the use of a dummy, as it reduces thumb and finger sucking, which his research shows is more damaging to the correct alignment of the teeth. As with teats, it’s important to use a well-designed dummy, as a badly designed one can cause problems like cross bites. Again, his recommendation was the NUK dummy.

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