Thumb Sucking & Habit Breaking

Though thumb sucking is more or less harmless in babies and toddlers, once a child's adult teeth start coming in, this habit could lead to serious dental problems.


How does thumb sucking lead to dental problems?

When children are very young, thumb sucking isn't usually problematic. Most kids outgrow their thumb sucking habits before starting school.

For babies and toddlers, thumb sucking is a completely normal, self-comforting behaviour, and nothing for parents to worry about.

However, if the habit persists after the eruption of adult teeth, thumb sucking can become a problem. When it continues beyond this time, it can cause serious dental and speech issues. And on a social level, continued thumb sucking during the school years can lead to teasing for your child.

How does thumb sucking cause dental problems?

After the adult teeth have erupted, continued thumb sucking can cause the teeth to become improperly aligned. Thumb sucking may also push the teeth outward, and lead to malformation of the upper palate.

How can I discourage my child from sucking his thumb?

It can be pretty tricky to discourage children from thumb sucking. But don't worry! The team at Smile Town Dentistry has extensive experience with this habit, and we can help.

One option that we offer to help break the thumb sucking habit is a custom-made thumb sucking appliance. The appliance is cemented behind your child's front teeth, and although isn't painful or uncomfortable, it makes thumb sucking far less enjoyable, thereby discouraging the habit.

If you think your child may be a good candidate for a thumb sucking appliance, get in touch with the Smile Town team today.


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