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What problems can excessive thumb sucking cause?

What problems can excessive thumb sucking cause?

Your child's pediatric dentist and orthodontist can both play an important role in protecting their oral health. In this post, our dentists in North Delta discuss the link between children's dental care and orthodontics. 

When does thumb sucking become a problem?

From the time they are babies, children calm themselves by sucking their pacifiers, teething toys, and later, their thumbs or fingers. 

This favourite activity helps them to regulate their emotions. That said, thumb sucking can unfortunately have negative side effects that last long past kindergarten age if the habit persists past age 4.

What specific dental issues can thumb sucking cause?

Potential side effects of prolonged, excessive or intense thumb sucking include:

1. Speech Impediment

Since the tongue tip needs to come into contact with the front teeth to make some speech sounds, tooth formation is integral when it comes to speech development. If these teeth are misaligned, others will have a harder time understanding what your child is saying. 

Prolonged thumb sucking can cause the teeth to become misaligned and the tongue to rest and move incorrectly, leading to tongue thrust. 

2. Open Bite 

When the upper teeth don't overlap the bottom teeth when the back teeth are together, this is known as an open bite. The condition can occur as a result of the thumb or finger creating an opening between the top and bottom front teeth, preventing them from meeting.

3. Overbite 

Another potential consequence of thumb sucking is that the teeth are pushed outward in an overbite. These types of issues can cause challenges with jaw placement, poor chewing and perhaps lead to orthodontic issues as your child develops. 

How can my dentist at SmileTown North Delta help with thumb sucking?

Our dentists at Smile Town Dentistry in North Delta can help you address your child's thumb sucking as part of our wide range of general dentistry services

Thumb sucking appliances can help break the thumb sucking habit. This type of appliance is cemented behind your child's front teeth. It's not at all uncomfortable or painful. However, it's designed to make thumb sucking less enjoyable, which helps discourage the habit. 

Are you wondering if your child's thumbsucking is an issue? Contact our dentists at Smile Town North Delta to book an appointment today!

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