How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Teeth?

It’s normal to see babies sucking their thumbs, but you can’t help but be a little worried. You have even asked people, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” You have likely gotten a myriad of answers. Some people tell you that thumb sucking is perfectly OK, while others have said it will lead to developmental problems. The truth to the question, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” isn’t actually as simple as a straightforward answer. When examining, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” you need to look at the age of the child.

How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Teeth

Normal Thumb Sucking Behavior

To fully understand, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” you need to first understand normal thumb sucking behavior. Infants can suck their thumbs and use pacifiers without having any detrimental effects. It actually soothes the baby, so when your baby is still an infant, thumb sucking is completely fine.

However, by the time your child turns 4, you need to stop him or her from this behavior. This is what you really want to know when asking, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” By the age of 4, thumb sucking can prevent the jaws from growing properly. Thumb sucking could harm your child’s bite and create changes in the palate.

How to Discourage Thumb Sucking

Now that you know the answer to, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” you want to know how to discourage it. Your child loves sucking his or her thumb, and you are worried about the next step to take.

This is actually not as difficult as you might expect. Use a reward system to get your child to stop sucking his or her thumb. Every day your child doesn’t engage in the behavior, provide some sort of fun yet healthy reward.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your Goshen, NY, dentist for help. Your dentist can talk to you more about the question, “How does thumb sucking affect teeth?” and can also help you discourage the behavior.

How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Teeth? Schedule an Exam to Find Out

Dr. Dayna Olstein and the team at Orange County Pediatric Dentistry are experts in pediatric dentistry. We are happy to answer any questions pertaining to pediatric dentistry in Florida, NY, 10921, and the surrounding areas. If you would like to arrange a complimentary consultation with Dr. Olstein, please contact Orange County Pediatric Dentistry at 845-928-2205 or visit ocpdental.com.



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