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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.

Children tend to stop sucking their thumbs when they are between two and four years old. Typically, they can suck their thumbs safely for a few years, though we recommend paying attention to the position of your child’s teeth. If you notice any shifting, please don’t hesitate to visit our dentist.

If you notice that your child’s teeth are shifting, it may be time to help them stop. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to help them quit. First, we recommend that your reward your children for not sucking their thumb rather than punishing them for sucking. This will reinforce the good habit. Physical barriers, such as mitten, finger splints, and poor tasting liquids, can also help.

If your child does sucks their thumbs and you’re concerned about their oral health, we recommend visiting our dentist, Dr. Nieku Manshadi. 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 Route 32 Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics at 254.870.1440. We’re excited to receive your call.