How can thumb sucking affects a child’s teeth

Article written byElite Dental Group.

Babies suck their thumbs when they require soothing to sleep and relax. Although this is fine when a baby has no teeth, as the child’s teeth come in, thumb sucking can affect their dental health.

Although most babies find different methods to self-soothe, it is not uncommon for some toddlers and preschoolers to continue sucking their thumb. Frequent thumb sucking can cause changes to the roof of the mouth and jaw, causing changes to a child’s adult teeth.

Children who continue to suck their thumbs will see their teeth pushed outwards which causes an overbite or an underbite. These issues can only be rectified by wearing braces. Speech problems are also common with thumb-suckers as the teeth’ positions cause pronunciation issues.

To stop a child from sucking their thumb offer children a reward and explain to them the long-lasting effects that thumb sucking can cause. When slip-ups do occur, avoid stressing the child by gently letting them know that they are sucking their thumb.

However, if your child finds it difficult to stop sucking their thumb, it is best to visit a dentist or an orthodontist for advice. Often orthodontists will be able to provide parents with strategies that will help to reduce thumb sucking until the child can be fitted with braces. Dentists advise that children with misaligned teeth should be fitted with braces as misplaced teeth can affect a child’s confidence and increase their risk of cavities.

 Dr. Andre Eliasian is one of the leading dentists in cosmetic dentistry in Glendale CA. His clinic offers several services using modern dentistry procedures which include both traditional and Invisalign braces. If you are looking for wisdom tooth extraction in Glendale or oral surgery in Glendale call for an appointment.