Saving Your Child’s Smile: Thumb Sucking

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Caring for your child’s smile includes always making sure their mouth is well cared for in the presence of thumb sucking. Because most children suck their thumbs, they put an increased risk of dental damage on their smile. However, it can be treated effectively if you take the time and effort to break the bad habit. For additional information about thumb-sucking, see below:

– If your child is routinely sucking their thumb, it can actually do damage to their mouth. Not only can it impair the growth of their teeth, but it can also change their alignment.
– Thumb-sucking has been linked to changes in the roofs of children’s mouths. Thus, discourage the habit as much as possible.
– If your child is sucking their thumb, you can offer alternative tools such as a pacifier. Although they can still lead to several oral health ailments, pacifiers have been linked to lower a baby’s risk for SIDS, also known as sudden infant death syndrome. Weaning a child off a pacifier is also easier than teaching the child not to suck their thumb.
– Thumb sucking can introduce new bacteria to a child’s mouth.
– Make sure your child stops sucking their thumb by the time they are 4 years old.
– Thumb-sucking is often viewed as a security blanket for your child. To help them stop sucking their thumbs, always give them praise when they are not doing so.
– Pediatric dentists are able to prescribe medications to coat the child’s finger in a bitter substance to help eliminate their desire to continue the habit.

When you are ready to schedule your child’s visit with Dr. R. Bruce Howell at Orem Pediatric Dentistry, you can call us at 801-802-7200. Our dentist in Orem, Utah, and our entire team look forward to protecting your child or loved one’s smile.