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Thumb-Sucking – Allen, TX

Preventing Future Problems in Developing Smiles

Did you know that thumb-sucking is a common and completely natural habit for infants which helps them to feel relaxed and safe? Even if this routine also aids them in getting some shut-eye, it may not be harmless or beneficial for their oral health later on. Sucking on a pacifier or their thumb at around age four can end up leading them to need invasive orthodontic treatment in the future as a child or teen. Fortunately, our team at Allen Orthodontics can offer personalized care to ensure they don’t encounter any complications in the future due to thumb-sucking.

Why Choose Allen Orthodontics for Thumb-Sucking Habits?

  • Proud Mother Who Understands Younger Patients
  • Nearly Two Full Decades of Experience in Dentistry
  • Board-Certified Orthodontist

What Issues Can Arise from Thumb-Sucking?

a child showing issues with thumb sucking

Whenever your little one sucks their fingers or thumb, the suction and pressure of the activity can gradually change how their teeth erupt as well as the shape of their mouth, including the roof. If left unaddressed, it can result in a variety of complications that will appear more noticeable over time. Some of these issues may include:

  • Uneven upper and lower jawbones
  • Protruding front teeth
  • Distortions at the roof of the mouth
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Overbite

Other problems that can arise from thumb-sucking include an increased risk of speech problems/impediments and/or exposing the child’s body to harmful bacteria, which can lead to decay or infection.

Should You Discourage Thumb-Sucking?

a child thumb sucking and lying in bed

Around 94% of kids typically stop sucking on their thumbs on their own by the age of one. That said, this isn’t always so for some children. If your little one is still quite young, then allowing them to continue thumb-sucking shouldn’t be a problem. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it’s recommended that you start encouraging them to quit this habit whenever their front teeth start erupting. This is because the suction from sucking their thumbs can lead to their pearly whites protruding or cause a misalignment in their bite.

The Key to Stopping Thumb-Sucking

a child smiling with nice and healthy teeth

If you’re trying to get your child to stop thumb-sucking or using their pacifier, make sure to schedule a visit with a dental professional like Dr. Jones and Dr. Hanson. Your orthodontists in Allen can help evaluate your little one’s mouth and offer detailed instructions on how to encourage them to stop the habit. A few common methods for parents to try include:

  • Use positive reactions and praise when your little one doesn’t such their finger or thumb.
  • Help your child find alternative and healthier ways to relax themselves.
  • Keep a positive attitude while encouraging your child to break the habit.