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Will Thumb Sucking Impact My Child's Teething?

Babies are notorious for sucking their thumbs to lull themselves to sleep or calm themselves down while crying. However, a serious thumb suckingthumb sucking habit could potentially affect your child’s teeth and teething period at a certain age. Learn more about thumb sucking and how it can affect your child’s oral health with your dentist at Hunting Hills Family Dentistry in Roanoke, VA.

Is thumb sucking okay? 
Thumb sucking is a natural occurrence that many babies and children perform. The problem with thumb sucking, however, is that while a child’s teeth grow in, the placement of the thumb on the teeth can cause them to grow in abnormally. It can also affect the roof of the mouth and the growth of the mouth. When the habit remains after the permanent teeth begin growing in, it could cause an overbite, speech impediment or even skin problems on the finger itself. Normally, children stop sucking their thumb on their own, but others need help to stop thumb sucking altogether.

Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit
This habit rarely remains after the age of four or five. Breaking your child’s lingering thumb sucking habit can prove to be a difficult undertaking. However, by following these tips and tricks, you can help your child break their habit positively and effectively:

  • discuss the importance of breaking the habit
  • praise them when they do not suck their thumb
  • include the child in the progress using a reward system
  • use over-the-counter anti-thumb sucking measures which make the finger taste bitter
  • consult with your child’s dentist about dental appliances which can help break the habit

Oral Health in Roanoke, VA
Your dentist can provide support as you help your child break their thumb sucking habit. Your child should see their dentist once every six months for regular examinations and cleanings. At these examinations, your dentist can talk to your child or speak with you about options for helping your child kick their habit.

For more information on thumb sucking’s impact on your child’s teeth, please contact Hunting Hills Family Dentistry in Roanoke, VA. Call (540) 769-5020 to schedule your child’s dental appointment today!

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