Thumb Sucking & Your Child’s Teeth

thumb-sucking, children, baby teeth, thumb sucking, family dentist

Thumb sucking is a very natural and common way for babies to self-soothe. Even as newborns, roughly 90% exhibit some form of hand sucking only two hours after being born.As babies begin to explore more and work to make sense of their world, they try to put pretty much everything in their mouths. Hands are always, well, handy, and are an easy way for a baby to not only explore but also self-soothe.

Should I Be Concerned?

Parents often become concerned about how thumb sucking will affect incoming baby teeth. As most children generally cease the habit and turn to other methods of self-soothing between the ages of two and four, it isn’t a concern. But as teeth do begin to come in and if your child is an aggressive thumbsucker, it can lead to protruding front teeth and possibly affect the growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth.

Kicking the Thumb Sucking Habit

Whether a simple habit or a coping mechanism to help relieve anxiety, you can help your child find other ways to soothe themselves as they become older. We can help offer encouragement during dental check-ups and share with older children what can happen to teeth to provide support to stop the habit.

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