Breaking your child’s addiction – Thumb Sucking

30 May 2013

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Sucking comes naturally in children, it’s a reflex that you outgrow. It can be soothing, relaxing and it helps babies learn about the world.

So it’s all good and healthy until the permanent teeth come in. Sucking may cause problems with the mouths growth, it can change the alignment of the teeth and it can affect the roof of the mouth, the amount of dental problems is correlated with the intensity of the sucking.

Children should usually stop sucking their thumbs on their own, between 2 and 4 years old. It’s best if they permanently stop by the time their front teeth are ready to erupt.
Pacifiers can cause trouble too, but it’s not as hard to break that habit.

The American Dental Association realizes this problem and has offered some tips on how to break the habit.

Children should be praised for not sucking their thumbs, it shows better results than scolding them when they are.

One of the reasons children suck their thumbs is because they feel anxious or insecure. Fixing the cause of those feelings should be your primary focus.

If you child is older enough, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.  You can try using a bandage or a sock at night to remind the child of their habit.

Remember, <a href=””>your dentist can help explain</a> to your children what will happen to their teeth if they don’t stop.


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