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How Thumb Sucking Affects Your Little Ones Teeth

August 11, 2016

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?

You see, one major problem with thumb sucking is that it puts pressure on the roof of the mouth, which can cause the position of their teeth to shift. While any of your child’s teeth could be shifted from thumb sucking, typically the front teeth are most affect. Similarly, thumb sucking may cause damage to your teeth.

Just as children will eventually lose interest in their pacifiers, they’ll eventually stop sucking their thumbs on their own. Generally, your child loses interest sometime between two and four years old. Fortunately, your child will usually be fine even if they suck their thumb until they’re four years old. However, please remember to watch for signs of shifting teeth. Similarly, if you think your child’s teeth are shifting, please remember to visit our team soon.

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. Dr. Manshadi, Dr. Van Arsdall, Dr. Roden-Johnson, Dr. Shoptaw, and Dr. Shook. 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 Killeen Children’s Dental Center at (254) 262-3131. We’re excited to receive your call.