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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.

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 you notice that your child’s teeth are shifting and you think it may be due to thumb sucking, we recommend visiting our dentist, Dr. Nieku Manshadi, as soon as you can. Our team will assess your child’s mouth and devise a plan to rectify anything that caused damage. To schedule an appointment with us, please call Hill Country Pediatric Dentistry at 512.263.7455. We look forward to hearing from you.