Thumb Sucking – It Can Have Some Very Bad Effects

Thumb Sucking – It Can Have Some Very Bad Effects

Thumb sucking is a fairly frequent occurrence in infants, although the practice might start much earlier, in the womb. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that thumb sucking is a natural reflex for infants, providing them with a sense of comfort. 

Thumb sucking can be a baby’s way coping with anxiety or even inducing sleep. However this innocuous habit can have some devastating effects in the long term.

When You Should Discourage the Habit and Why?

Most children tend to stop the habit by themselves.  The ideal time to discourage your child from thumb sucking is as soon as they start. Prolonged sucking results in improper development of the jaw and teeth, and even permanent misalignment of teeth. This is hard to fix and affects appearance leading to lack of confidence as adults.

Oral Effects of Thumb Sucking

If a thumb sucking habit continues beyond the age of two, the sucking motion and the pressure tends to affect the mouth and teeth. The front teeth may protrude outward. With the upper and lower teeth not making contact, the bite will remain open. In addition, skeletal changes may have an effect on the permanent teeth and lead to a cross bite

How to Discourage Thumb Sucking?

More often than not, the habit stops with little to no intervention. However, if the habit continues even after a child has turned two, prompt action would be the best way forward. Getting the child to use a pacifier or a bottle is not a good idea as both these habits can cause the same effect as thumb sucking. Here are measures that may help:

  • Use a reward system and keep track of your child’s progress.

  • Offer regular encouragement.

  • Praise your child for his/her effort to stop.

  • Use a glove or a bandage to cover the preferred hand/thumb.

If you feel that your child is experiencing difficulty in getting rid of the habit, it might be necessary to schedule a visit to this dentist in Browns plains. Sometimes, there might be need for a dental appliance to be placed at the roof of the mouth which is done by a specialist. No matter what the case, the sooner the habit is stopped, the better it is for your child’s oral health.

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If you need services of an affordable dentist in Browns plains, don’t hesitate to call. You may also call us if you need a: Dentist in Kingston, Dentist in Logan Central, Dentist in Woodridge, Dentist in Underwood, Dentist in Springwood, Dentist in Priestdale, Dentist in Slacks Creek, Dentist in Daisy Hill, Dentist in Shailer Park, Dentist in Tanah Merah, Dentist in Loganholme, and beyond.

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