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Teeth and Gums 101: Thumb Sucking

July 1, 2017

Did you know that a child can damage their teeth by sucking their thumb? Although thumb sucking tends to be a normal habit in children, by no means should it be encouraged, as it can have many negative consequences on their teeth, and even potentially affect the positioning of their teeth as they age.

Why You Can’t Let your kids Suck their Thumbs

October 11, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — killeenchildrensdc @ 1:59 pm

Many little children suck their thumbs, and a good majority of parents generally don’t see anything wrong with it. After all, if it helps your younger children calm down, that’s a good thing, right?

It might be good in the short-term, but in the long term, thumb-sucking can have some pretty serious lasting effects. Let’s look at what those are and why Dr. Dr. Manshadi, Dr. Van Arsdall, Dr. Roden-Johnson, Dr. Shoptaw, and Dr. Shook strongly recommends you don’t let your children suck their thumbs.

Can create a need for braces

While the American Dental Association has acknowledged that not all thumb-sucking is damaging to teeth health, they have noted that if your children are intensely sucking their thumbs, that’s a fairly good sign you need to try to get them to stop. Otherwise, they’ll potentially damage their bite and need braces at a pretty early age.

Damages adult teeth

If you don’t take steps to wean your children away from sucking their thumb and let it continue past the age of five or six, when adult teeth usually begin appearing, then the thumb-sucking can cause alignment damage to adult teeth. It can also hurt the overall health of the adult teeth if it’s not countered quickly.

Causes speech issues

One function of teeth that’s often overlooked is their role in speech. If you let your kids suck their thumbs for too long, it can cause speech issues due to misaligned teeth.

If you’re having a hard time getting your children to quit sucking their thumbs, don’t hesitate to call us today at (254) 262-3131 to schedule an appointment and see how we can help.

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.