Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers: Influence of these activities on a Child’s teeth

Thumb sucking is a completely normal activity for children. It is a way in which children feel secure and contentment. Some children learn to suck fingers even before they were born. It is a very common question of parents whether pacifiers or thumb sucking affects the teeth of their children. The answer given by Pediatric Dentist Glenview is if the child leaves the habit at a suitable age, this long-term damage that can pose oral health risks can be minimized. Now, the question arises what is the proper age to intervene?

Consequences of thumb sucking and pacifiers on teeth

These habits have a long-term effect on a child’s mouth, the roof of the mouth, and tooth alignment to tooth decay, roof narrowing, slanting teeth, and mouth sores. Another factor according to pediatric dentist Glenview is the aggressiveness of the child sucking. If the action is vigorous, it can cause a problem with primary teeth and in the bites which eventually results in crooked and misaligned teeth. The major effect includes drying out the skin of the thumb, causing it to crack, bleed, or become infected. All these problems will eventually lead to costly procedures and can even include orthodontic treatment.

The side effects of thumb sucking:

  1. Open Bite:

Open bite is a condition in which the top and bottom front teeth become directed outward. In this misalignment, front teeth do not touch even if the mouth of the child is completely closed. This misalignment requires orthodontic correction and many other complicated dental treatments in the future.

  1. Overbite:

In this situation, the top teeth cover the bottom teeth when your child’s mouth is closed rather than the top bottom teeth touching normally. Children with extreme overbites need extreme orthodontic treatment to correct the issue and they can also need orthodontic appliances to ensure the proper placement of traditional metal braces.

  1. Skin problems:

The other major side effect of thumb sucking is skin problems. When the sucked thumb is exposed, it becomes prone to various infections, cracks, bleeding, and even vulnerable to other injuries. Therefore, it is suggested to control this activity in time by using a medical finger glove. Children Dentistry Glenview recommends not to use unpleasant tasted liquids as it can cause high-level frustrations and rarely produce lasting results.

d. Speech Impediment:

Thumb sucking affects the speech ability of the child as it may cause lisping and other speech impediments therefore, he may face difficulty in pronouncing various consonants like “D” and “T”. It also impacts the eating habits of the child. Under this situation, the child will need proper dental care otherwise this speech issue can never be cleared even by the best speech therapists. This situation leaves a negative impression on the child and he may experience a high level of frustration, anger, and feeling of isolation.

Helping the child to leave bad habits 

Some children leave the habit between two to four years but some children do need help leaving this habit. Here are a few ways which according to child dentist Glenview can help like-

  1. Encouragement goes a long way. It will help your child to get rid of these activities frequently.
  2. Spreading positivity will go further instead of scolding or giving punishment.
  3. Try to keep your child as engaged as possible as it can be a reason for thumb sucking.
  4. You can use socks or mittens so that they cannot suck in the sleep.
  5. Reward him with a “big kid” title to encourage positive habits in the child.

If you think that all these practices are not helping you, Dentist Glenview is always available for you and your child. We can help you in the situation and can also provide various mouth appliances so that your child can enjoy his happy smile for many long years.

Our expert team will always make sure and is passionate to help our young patients so that they can have a healthy smile for a lifetime. we are looking forward to meeting your young one and taking care of his needs.

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