Thumb Sucking in Children

My child sucks his / her thumb, should I be worried?

Self-soothing by sucking on a thumb is perfectly normal and natural in babies. Many young children continue to suck their thumbs, and whilst you may think it looks cute, did you know that over time it could cause a number of short and long-term problems for your child’s health and wellbeing?

Why is thumb sucking bad for my child’s teeth?

Thumb sucking should normally have ceased by the time your child reaches five – if not, developing teeth can be pushed out of their correct alignment, causing issues such as:

·Cross bite – shifting of the jaw when your child opens or closes his or her mouth

·Over or underbite – teeth that don’t come together in a normal manner, or at all

·Tongue thrust, causing a lisp to develop when speaking

How can I stop my child sucking his / her thumb?

There are a number of simple, practical steps you can take to help your child lose the habit before the development of his / her teeth and oral cavity are adversely affected. These may include:

·A reward chart – a tried and tested a way to subtly change your child’s behaviour!

·Introducing a teddy or soft comforter at night time

·Identifying the underlying causes (anxiety? boredom?) and taking steps to avoid or address these

What treatment options are available for misaligned teeth caused by thumb sucking?

The Team at KIDS will undertake a thorough examination of your child’s teeth and jaws in order to create a personalised treatment plan to correct any crooked teeth that may have been pushed out of line by thumb sucking.

We understand that there is more to stopping thumb sucking than just breaking the habit. At KIDS we aim to educate you as to WHY your child is sucking. Our approach includes a thorough assessment of their habit and any underlying issues that may be associated, as well as informing you of the impact it may be having on their growth and development.

Thumb and digit sucking has an enormous impact on children and families. If you are concerned about your child’s sucking habit contact the team at KIDS today!

Our Team are always happy to discuss any concerns you may have regarding any aspect of your child’s oral health, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or require further information about treatment options.

We can help your child GROW A HEALTHY SMILE!

Would you like more information on KIDS dental care? Please complete this form and one of our friendly team will get in touch with you.

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