The harmful effects of thumb sucking on teeth

Is thumb sucking harmful? Are there thumb-sucking teeth? We’re here to help you understand thumb sucking, when it can become a problem, and the best ways to support your child.

Parents who are concerned about their child’s thumb sucking frequently contact dentists with questions. The majority of children who suck their thumb do so because it is comforting. Although thumb sucking is a typical activity among children, it can be bad for their teeth and general oral health if done frequently.

Your child may just need encouragement to stop sucking a finger or thumb to break the habit during the day. An orthodontist might be needed to prevent difficulties if parents wait until their children kick the habit and the youngster quits much later in life.

Thumb sucking can have various negative effects on the mouth, teeth and gums. This is due to the constant pressure that sucking and using the thumb puts on the roof, jaw and teeth of the mouth. This could result in any of the following:

Excessive overbite, where the upper teeth protrude from the rest of the mouth and jaw

When the mouth is closed, the upper and lower teeth should touch. However, malocclusion bite problems can cause the lower teeth to tip inward or outward.

Changes the contour of the jaw, which can affect the symmetry and sensitivity of the roof of the mouth as well as cause a speech problem.

Thumb sucking causes palatal constriction, which occurs when the roof of the mouth does not fully develop.

Poor dental alignment, abnormal tongue swallowing behavior and impaired breathing

Finger or thumb calluses

However, if thumb sucking stops by the time permanent teeth appear, most of these problems will go away or never arise. Children who suck their thumb forcefully and continuously may be more likely to experience negative effects.

How do you get your child to stop sucking their thumb?

Reinforcing positive actions rather than penalizing negative actions can be a healthier and more effective way to control your child’s behavior. The explanation for this can be partially found in the possibility that stress and guilt may make thumb sucking more prevalent and lessen the appeal of punishment.

Thumb sucking, like any other unpleasant habit, can become habitual and your child may not even notice it. Discourage them with warnings to get their attention before engaging in the practice.

The following actions could be taken to prevent your toddler from sucking his thumb:

Change their stress-relieving behavior to something more constructive, like snuggling up with a beloved toy, stuffed animal, or blanket.

Make a chart with stickers to keep track of their driving, and when they get a certain number of stickers, give them a reward.

Avoid putting your child in stressful situations by not humiliating, blaming or punishing them for sucking their thumb.

Use rewards and praise to encourage positive behavior, such as not sucking your thumb.

You could discourage this tendency by applying a bandage to his thumb or covering his hand with a blanket at night.

Educate your child, if they are old enough, about the impact thumb sucking can have on their oral health.

Make sure your child’s discomfort and tension are reduced or managed.

Consult your dentist

Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to seek advice from your dental professional if you’re having trouble motivating healthy adjustments yourself. To stop thumb sucking, they may suggest using a bitter drug, a thumb sucking guard, or (in extremely rare circumstances) braces. It is essential to know more about what can improve your child’s behavior and what will damage it while trying to help him.

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