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As you may know, your child could suck their thumbs for a number of reasons. In fact, most children suck their thumbs to comfort themselves when they’re upset, or when they are trying to fall asleep. However, do you know what thumb sucking can do to 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.

Still, what can you do to help your children stop sucking their thumbs? There are physical barriers that work. For instance, bitter tasting liquids, mittens, and finger splints have been known to help. Also, we recommend rewarding your child for not sucking their thumb instead of punishing them for sucking their thumbs. However, helping them stop may take time, so please be patient.

If your child does sucks their thumbs and you’re concerned about their oral health, we recommend visiting our dentist, Dr. Christine Hervas. 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 Crossroads Dental at 830.351.6202. We’re excited to receive your call.