How Does Thumb Sucking Affect your Child’s Oral Health

How Does Thumb Sucking Affect your Child’s Oral Health

4 mins read

Every parent’s dream is to see their children grow up healthy – they don’t want to see their child develop any habits that could affect their proper development. However, thumb sucking is in nature of every baby in order for them to make them feel happier and safe in wherever environment they are.

Aggressive thumb sucking has a bad effect on your child’s teeth. It may affect the growth and alignment of their teeth and it may ticker some changes to the roof of their mouth. Most of the time children stop naturally between ages two to four but others have the difficulty stopping the routine.

So, if your child is a thumb sucker, here are some tips from dental health expert that can help you to stop their thumb sucking habit.

How Thumb Sucking Affect their Oral Health?

In the early days of infancy, thumb sucking can be a real boon to beleaguered parents since it helps many young children to reduce anxiety and even drift off to sleep at night. As teeth begin to erupt, however, thumb sucking can become a problem that leads to misaligned teeth and even jaws.

This can begin as early as the formation of baby teeth, but it will almost certainly occur if children are still sucking their thumbs when permanent teeth start to grow in. Thumb sucking, especially vigorous sucking, can also lead to changes in the roof of the mouth.

All of this can cause teeth to erupt unevenly and disrupt bite patterns. Down the line, such issues may require the use of braces to properly alight teeth and jaws, or even oral surgery in extreme cases, all of which you and your child would probably rather avoid.

Here are some of the long-term effects of thumb sucking:

  • Narrowing of the jaw or palate
  • Shrinking the airway
  • Altered breathing patterns
  • Poor swallow patterns
  • Improper teeth position
  • Hindered speech
  • Speech issues
  • Changing the shape of the face
  • Abnormal tongue rest

How Does Thumb Sucking Affect your Child’s Oral Health

How to Curb Thumb Sucking?

Some children opt to suck their thumbs for comfort out of insecurity. One of the best ways a parent can do is to address the anxieties and stresses that cause their child then find other things that can help them cope up with their habit. You can try turning their thumb sucking habit into a fun game where they can receive a reward for a day they go without doing it. Then as the day goes by and you notice that your child doesn’t do it anymore, praise them or compliment them for their achievement as complimenting children for the good things they’ve done has a positive effect on them.

Final Thoughts

Thumb sucking is just one reason why it’s important to maintain your child’s regular schedule of dental exams, starting from the age of 1 year. It can also teach you and your child effective oral hygiene techniques, help prevent tooth decay, and generally monitor dental growth and development. Though orthodontics can usually fix bite problems that result from sucking habits, going regularly to the dentist would as soon as possible will help you avoid extra expense in the near future!