Thumb Sucking: Does it Affect Teeth?

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As you may know, your child could suck their thumbs for a number of reasons. In fact, most children suck their thumbs to comfort themselves when they’re upset, or when they are trying to fall asleep. However, do you know what thumb sucking can do to your child’s oral health?

Thumb sucking can actually damage your kid’s teeth. You see, thumb sucking puts unnecessary pressure on the roof of their mouth. Eventually, this could cause your little one’s teeth to shift. While this shift can affect any of your children’s teeth, the two front teeth are usually the most affected. Naturally, each child is different, but if your child sucks their thumbs harder than others, they may suffer from more severe symptoms.

Children tend to stop sucking their thumbs when they are between two and four years old. Typically, they can suck their thumbs safely for a few years, though we recommend paying attention to the position of your child’s teeth. If you notice any shifting, please don’t hesitate to visit our dentist.

Sadly, it can be difficult to stop your children from sucking their thumb. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try. For instance, we recommend rewarding your child for not sucking their thumb rather than punishing them for sucking. Similarly, you may want to consider physical barriers, such as mittens, finger splints, and poor tasting liquids to help your little one break the habit. Our team can also give you specific advice.

If your child does sucks their thumbs and you’re concerned about their oral health, we recommend visiting our dentist, Dr. [doctor_name]. We’ll gladly assess the state of your child’s mouth and give you specific advice. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us, please contact [practice_name] at [phone]. We’re excited to receive your call.