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Thumb sucking is something most children will do at one point or another. Usually, thumb sucking helps your child when they are upset or if they need to fall asleep. However, did you know that sucking on your children’s thumbs, fingers, or even a pacifier can be detrimental to the health of your child’s teeth? Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect your child’s oral health.

You see, one major problem with thumb sucking is that it puts pressure on the roof of the mouth, which can cause the position of their teeth to shift. While any of your child’s teeth could be shifted from thumb sucking, typically the front teeth are most affect. Similarly, thumb sucking may cause damage to your teeth.

Children tend to stop sucking their thumbs when they are between two and four years old. Typically, they can suck their thumbs safely for a few years, though we recommend paying attention to the position of your child’s teeth. If you notice any shifting, please don’t hesitate to visit our dentist.

Sadly, it can be difficult to stop your children from sucking their thumb. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try. For instance, we recommend rewarding your child for not sucking their thumb rather than punishing them for sucking. Similarly, you may want to consider physical barriers, such as mittens, finger splints, and poor tasting liquids to help your little one break the habit. Our team can also give you specific advice.

If your child does sucks their thumbs and you’re concerned about their oral health, we recommend visiting our dentist, Dr. Trent Pryor. We’ll gladly assess the state of your child’s mouth and give you specific advice. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with us, please contact St. George Kids Dental at 435-673-3490. We’re excited to receive your call.