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Effects of Thumb Sucking
By: Samantha Glaunert , Categories: Healthy Tips,Oral Health , Comments Off on Effects of Thumb Sucking

When babies suck on things like their thumbs or a pacifier, it affects the structure of the inside of their mouths. The vacuum created while sucking can mold their bones around the object, which can affect swallowing, facial development, and teeth placement.

60% of child’s facial development occurs before the age of four. Non-nutritive sucking can even cause more serious problems like sleep apnea, mouth breathing, and narrow airways. It is natural, normal, and encourage for babies and children to suck on things, as it is soothing, but where do we draw the line?

Effects

  • can cause teeth to push out, or an underbite/overbite
  • the roof of the mouth can narrow and may need to be expanded
  • a lisp can form from jaw bone changes or a speech impediment

There are other non-oral related issues that could form, check those out here: Thumb Sucking Side Effects

Stop Sucking

  • a conversation can go far, chat with your child about the affects of sucking their thumb.
  • Youtube is a great resource for visually exemplifying the effects
  • devise a quitting plan with your child, like taking away activities when thumb sucking, or putting socks on their hands at night
  • positive reward systems and praise
  • thumb covers, these can be found online

Here are more methods to check out: Break The Habit

Keep in mind, parenting is unique to each individual child and outlooks on thumb sucking or pacifiers are different for each family. If you are concerned about you child’s sucking habits affect on their teeth, feel free to give us a call.