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Thumb sucking: it’s common. But did you know that this can actually cause serious oral health issues? Although most children go through thumb sucking phases, you’ll want to help them stop quickly so that later ailments do not result. Here are some facts to know and tips to help your child quit thumb sucking:

– Thumb sucking while teething or afterward as teeth develop can actually contribute to misaligned and crooked bite patterns.
– Thumb sucking can present outside bacteria to a child’s mouth, increasing the likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
– Thumb sucking can slow and postpone the growth of a child’s teeth.
– Does your child continue to suck his or her thumb past an unhealthy age? Their pediatrician can give you a bitter-tasting substance to rub on the thumbs.
– Children often use thumb sucking as a security blanket to help them with when afraid. Strive to build confidence in your child. You can also praise them when they are in what may be a scary situation and do not suck their thumbs.
– Do you use pacifiers as an alternative to thumb sucking? Pacifiers can actually create the same type of damage to a child’s bite alignment.

To schedule an oral exam for your child at Orem Pediatric Dentistry with Dr. R. Bruce Howell, simply call our pediatric office in Orem, Utah. We can be reached at 801-802-7200. Visit us today and enjoy the season with a smile!