How thumb-sucking affects your child’s oral health

By November 15, 2022 No Comments

How your child’s dental health might be affected by sucking their thumb.

Thumb sucking is a normal reflex for newborns and toddlers that may begin as early as when the baby is still in the womb. Thumb sucking over an extended period of time, however, can result in a number of oral health complications. We hope that your little one will grow up to be healthy and happy, with a radiant smile for many years to come.

If your kid is at least five years old and still sucking their thumb, read on for additional information about how it may harm their dental health and suggestions for what you can do about it.

When done for an extended period of time, using a pacifier or sucking on one’s thumb may cause the teeth to shift out of place. Another potential side effect of sucking the thumb is the development of malocclusion, a dental disorder in which the top and lower teeth do not align properly. As a consequence of this, developmental delays are a potential outcome. As a result, the best way to prevent these dental problems from occurring is to quit the habit as soon as you possibly can.

The following are suggestions for parents on how to stop their child’s habit of sucking their thumb:

If you notice that your kid is sucking their thumb, you should try to discourage the behaviour in a gentle way. When you become aware of the routine, kindly but firmly tell them to break it. Provide the kid with a positive reward in the form of an additional tale before bedtime after they have stopped sucking their thumb.

Because altering a kid’s behaviour may be a slow and laborious process, maintaining patience and consistency is of the utmost importance when trying to break a child of the habit of sucking their thumb. Develop a strategy that includes distinct goals as well as time limits.

When your kid is sucking their finger, you should look for indicators of it to determine whether or not it is a habit or a reaction to stress. Once the root of the bad behaviour has been identified, it is possible to address it.

If your child’s habit of sucking their thumb has gotten out of hand, it might put their dental health at risk. If this is the case, you need to schedule an appointment with us.

Always remember:

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time…. Floss everyday.
Change your toothbrush when it looks used.
Visit us every six months.
Eat a healthy diet.
Stay hydrated all day long, and don’t smoke.

Make your appointment today with Dr. Rob Andrew and Urban Smiles Family Dental. 780.989.6030

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