The Dangers of Childhood Thumb Sucking

So, your child sucks their thumb—what’s the big deal? Well, it’s a huge deal that could lead to lifelong problems for your child. But don’t worry, yourdentist in Woodbridge, VA, can help!

Childhood Thumb-Sucking is Normal Until It Isn’t

Childhood thumb-sucking is a natural reflex that children use to self-soothe themselves. In other words, thumb-sucking helps comfort your child. However, going on for too long could damage your child’s mouth and teeth.

The Dangers of Childhood Thumb Sucking

Most children will stop sucking their thumb after six months of age. And about 30 percent of children will continue to suck their thumb through preschool. However, if your child continues to suck their thumb after that, it could lead to serious and sometimes permanent damage.

For example:

  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Speech Impediments
  • Open Bite
  • Overbite
  • Social Impacts

How Your Dentist Can Help Stop Your Child’s Thumb Sucking

Your dentist has a variety of tools and techniques that can help stop your child’s thumb-sucking. For example, dentists frequently use a specially designed oral appliance called a tongue crib to stop thumb sucking. A tongue crib (along withearly pediatric dentistry in Woodbridge, VA) uses stiff wires that are placed in your child’s mouth that will obstruct them if they try to suck their thumb.

A tongue crib can be used if all other methods have failed. The tongue crib is extremely effective. And the results will benefit your child for the rest of their life.

Are You Looking for a Dentist in Woodbridge, VA?

If your child seems to have a thumb-sucking problem, pleaseContact Niles Dental today. Early intervention is the key to preserving your child’s dental health now and going forward. Let’s work together to ensure your child gets a happy, healthy, lifelong smile.