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Published: July 30, 2021

Will Thumb-Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

“Awww, your baby looks so cute sucking on that itty bitty thumb. How old is he?”

“He’s about to turn 3 next month.”

The lady you are talking to gives you a weird look, smiles, and walks away. You are left thinking, “What was all that about?”

Don’t worry, New Mama. It’s just another one of the joys of being responsible for a tiny human being. The reason for those funny looks is that your baby boy was sucking on his thumb and that at the age of almost three.

So, to answer the big question ― yes, thumb-sucking will damage your child’s teeth and their natural growth!

Why Babies Suck On Their Thumb?

Babies have natural sucking and rooting reflexes. This action soothes them and makes them feel secure. While discovering the world around them, it’s their bodies that they get familiar with first. You might have even watched videos online in which babies suck on their foot thumb. Don’t panic because this is completely normal. However, when thumb-sucking becomes a habit and continues past the age of 2, that’s when you should start looking for a dentist near me because you will need one in the future.

The Consequences of Thumb-Sucking

Habitual thumb-sucking constantly puts pressure on the upper jaw sides and the mouth’s rooftop soft tissue. This causes abnormalities in the baby’s oral health, leading to bigger problems as they grow. 

The top jaw becomes narrow, and the upper teeth don’t match the lower teeth, which causes a gap in between. This abnormality is called “bad bite.” Imagine taking a bite and not being able to feel your teeth connect in the middle. That’s how your baby’s teeth will be. 

This issue should not be taken lightly because a bad bite can also cause speech impairments. Remember that more misaligned growth would require your child to have more dental treatments.

Correcting Thumb-Sucking Behavior

Babies begin to listen to commands when they are 1 year old. So, gentle reminders such as a verbal “no” or removing their thumb from their mouth might break their habit. However, if this doesn’t work, here’s what you can do:

  • Reward them if they listen to you
  • Create a game where they will receive a reward for when they stop sucking on their thumb for a day
  • Distract them with something that will keep them occupied for a long period
  • Sucking on their thumb might be a nervous gesture. So, find out what’s bothering them and then make sure they don’t come in contact with such triggers

If you still have trouble, then visit your local dentist in Chico. A professional dentist will be able to help you better understand the situation. To get in touch us visit the website Kremer Dental Care. We offer all kinds of general dentistry procedures. To know more about our services and book an appointment, call on (530) 892-1234.

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