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Worried About Your Child’s Thumb Sucking? Don’t Let it Persist.

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90% of children between ages 2 to 4 are in the habit of thumb sucking, but if the habit lingers 30% of the children in pre-school are seen to suck their thumbs; thereby affecting their oral health and causing some permanent damage.

Some habits linger deep, one is thumb-sucking. This can mostly be seen in babies and young children. Children may tend to suck on their fingers, hands or any other item like pacifiers.

Know the reason why babies suck their thumbs:

  • Babies suck their thumbs to soothe themselves.
  • It is a kind of habit in babies and young children who use it for comforting themselves, in certain circumstances like restless, quiet, sleepy and bored.
  • But if your child is thumb-sucking after age five then it is in response to the emotional problem, other disorder like anxiety.

Problems caused by thumb-sucking:

  • Thumb-sucking can increase the risk for dental speech and problem.
  • If your child keeps on sucking the thumb, it can cause the teeth to become indecently aligned or it also tends to push the teeth outward.

The long-term effect of thumb sucking:

  • The shape of the upper jaw is too thin for the lower jaw so that the upper and lower front teeth which can match the child’s finger or thumb.
  • The force of the thumb forces the lower incisor teeth to tip toward the tongue.
  • Due to constant, push the teeth being pushed around, which can cause an overbite or Underbite.
  • Lisp, speech obstruction in which a person “misarticulates sibilants ([s], [z], [ts], [dz]) can impinge on the positioning of the jawbone.
  • All kind of germs from the surrounding area sticks to your finger affecting your body.
  • The roof of the mouth gets altered and tends to become more sensitive.
  • Sucking is an instinctual desire, just when the child is born; well this is a kind of stress reliever. But when your child turns to be 3 or 4, the same thing can cause your problem.

Learn the ways to distract your child:

  • Try to distract your child when you see him sucking his hands, distract him with toys, playing music, or that can be even showing the baby any kind of object.
  • Rewarding can help your child if you find your child is not sucking his/her thumb even for a minute.
  • Explain your child in form of storytelling that how your child welcomes all kind of germs just as when she starts to put her hand in the mouth.
  • Identify the habit at night, don’t make fun of your child if you see that your child is sucking thumb at night.

If you can help your child to stop this habit, then it’s well and good but if you find the situation too difficult then you need to take steps to guard the habit. Whispering Creek Dental feels that it is never too late to visit a dentist.

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