Thumb Sucking & Habit Breaking

Thumb sucking is harmless in babies and toddlers, but once a child's adult teeth start to erupt, this habit can lead to serious dental problems.


How does thumb sucking lead to dental problems?

For babies and toddlers, thumb sucking isn't usually a problem, and most children grow out of their thumb sucking habits before starting school.

Thumb sucking is a completely normal, self-comforting behaviour in babies and toddlers, and there's no need to discourage it.

If the habit persists after the eruption of adult teeth begins, however, it can become a problem. If 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 result in teasing from peers.

How does thumb sucking cause dental problems?

After the adult teeth have started to erupt, continued, frequent thumb sucking can cause the teeth to grow in misaligned. Thumb sucking can also push the teeth outward, which can lead to malformation of the upper palate.

How can I discourage my child from sucking his thumb?

It's not easy to discourage children from a thumb sucking habit, but don't worry! The team at Smile Town Dentistry has extensive experience with this habit, and we know how to help.

An effective option that we offer to help break the thumb sucking habit is custom-made thumb sucking appliances. These appliances are cemented behind your child's front teeth. They aren't painful or uncomfortable in any way, but they do make thumb sucking much less enjoyable, thereby discouraging the habit.

If you believe your child may require a thumb sucking appliance, get in touch with the Smile Town team today.


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