Dentures and Dentist

Dentures and Dentist

When Can Thumb Sucking Damage Your Child's Teeth?

Julian Andrews

Children who suck their thumbs may be more likely to develop dental problems, such as buck teeth, a misaligned bite or a lisp, according to the Better Health Channel. However, not all children who suck their thumbs experience problems with their teeth. Typically, thumb sucking may become an issue if your child can't kick the habit by the time they lose their baby teeth; the way children suck their thumbs may also be a factor. Read this article to learn more. 

How Old Is Your Child?

Children aren't likely to damage their teeth permanently through thumb sucking during their early baby teeth years. Typically, this habit is most likely to become a problem if children are still thumb sucking when their permanent teeth come through.

This may not be a problem for most children. According to the Raising Children Network, most thumb suckers tend to lose the habit naturally between the ages of two and four when they still have their baby teeth. Even if children continue to suck their thumbs over the next couple of years, they may not cause long-term problems, as their habit typically only affects their baby teeth, which will soon be replaced by adult teeth.

However, if your child doesn't stop the habit once the adult teeth come through, the damage caused by thumb sucking may be more permanent, leading to the need for orthodontic treatments to fix protruding teeth or an out-of-sync bite.

How Does Your Child Suck?

Some thumb suckers find comfort in just having their thumb in their mouths; they don't actually suck on them. This kind of passive sucking may not put too much pressure on the teeth and may be less worrying to your dentist. However, more active sucking that pushes the teeth out of position may cause more problems. One way to identify active sucking is to listen for a popping sound when children remove their thumbs from their mouths. This sound tells you that they are sucking hard and is a sign that you may want to encourage them to break the habit sooner rather than later.

If you're worried about your child's thumb sucking, even if they still have baby teeth or don't seem to suck too strongly, ask your dentist or orthodontist for advice. Although younger kids may not understand why they ought to stop sucking their thumbs, an older child may benefit from a chat with a dentist, and it may help them to break the habit if they understand why it isn't good for their teeth. For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Absolute Smiles


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Dentures and Dentist

Hello, my name is Jack. I am now 79 years old. As you can imagine, my teeth have taken something of a battering over the years. I lost a couple of teeth in a bar fight, four more decayed and one had to be extracted when it became infected. After losing so many teeth, my dentist suggested that I have dentures fitted. I was worried about this but my dentist was really great. He helped explain the procedure and then did an excellent job. I love my new dentures and I wanted to start this blog to offer help to others.