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Blog

Does thumb-sucking harm children’s teeth?

06-07-2022

Does your kid like to chew on his or her thumb? Over time, you might start to wonder if it’s a good habit or if it could hurt the way their teeth grow. Should you tell them not to chew their thumbs? Read on to learn more about your child’s habit of sucking his or her thumb and how it can hurt his or her teeth.

Should I let my child suck her thumb?

Some very sweet ultrasounds have shown that even foetuses sucking their thumbs. You may have seen babies and young children sucking their thumbs when they are upset or anxious. But this is when their teeth start to come in, and sucking their thumb can hurt them. It can mess up the alignment of the permanent teeth because the constant pressure of the thumb makes the front teeth grow in at an angle. Misaligned teeth can cause pain and problems with the jaw in the long run.

How do you get your child to stop?

In a perfect world, your child would stop sucking his thumb without you having to do anything. They might notice that the other kids around them don’t do it, and they might start to feel bad about it. But, as you know, kids don’t always make things that easy.

You can try a number of things have your child to stop sucking their thumb. You could set rules, like only letting them chew their thumbs at bedtime, to help them stop. Children respond well to reward systems, like putting a sticker on a chart for each day they don’t chew their thumb and giving them a bigger reward after a week of not sucking their thumb. You can even buy a thumb guard that will stop your child from sucking his or her thumb.

Babies and toddlers sucking their thumbs is cute. However, when their teeth start to come in, it can be a bad habit that is hard to break. The Gallery Dental is the place to go if you are worried about your child’s teeth.

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