kids have bad health with thumb sucking

How Thumb Sucking Affects Your Child’s Teeth

Thumb sucking is a common habit amongst toddlers as it is a comforting and calming action for most young children. Even though this habit is usually broken between the ages of 2 and 4, before primary school, parents often worry about what thumb sucking can mean for their child’s oral development.

If your child’s thumb sucking habit continues beyond the age of 5 or 6, the pressure and sucking motion will begin to change the mouth and teeth. The severity of these changes depends on the pressure and intensity of the sucking motions, however, they can present themselves dramatically if not dealt with appropriately. These changes may present themselves as one or more of the following:

  • Front teeth jutting out
  • An open bite (fronts of top and bottom teeth do not touch when child bites)
  • Uneven teeth alignment
  • Development of overbite or underbite
  • Development of a lisp
  • Spread of germs from fingers to mouth and surrounding area
  • Roof of mouth becoming altered or sensitive

To ensure that your child does not negatively affect their oral development, there are several ways to encourage them to stop sucking their thumbs. You can do this by positively reinforcing or praising them when they are not sucking their thumb, replacing their thumb with a pacifier, creating a reward system/ treating them with a healthy activity or snack for not sucking their thumb, and more.

A child dental hygienist can give parents the comfort and advice that they need regarding their child’s thumb sucking habit concerns. At Maple Dental Hygiene Care, child dental hygiene centre in Vaughan, we value encouraging and teaching healthy oral care habits for children and parents. Parents struggling with getting their child to quit sucking their thumbs can visit our dental hygiene clinic and work with our child dental hygienist to finally kick the habit. Don’t wait until your child is too attached and dependent on sucking their thumb. Visit us today or call us at 416.835.5002 to book an appointment.


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