Childhood Thumb Sucking – A Warning from Your Dentist

Does your child suck their thumb? If so, your dentist in Shaker Heights, OH has a warning for you. Thumb sucking is normal in babies. It makes them feel secure and relaxed. However, a child who continues to suck their thumb after four to five years of age, or if your child is an aggressive thumb sucker, could end up with long-term dental problems.

Dental Problems That Result from Childhood Thumb Sucking

When your child sucks their thumb, it creates a kind of vacuum in their mouth. This is because thumb sucking causes pressure, especially on your child’s top front teeth, bone, and the soft tissues of their mouth.

If your child continues to suck their thumb after their baby teeth fall out and their adult teeth start to come in, this is when problems begin to occur. That’s why it’s important to try and break the thumb-sucking habit before they hit that point.

Here are a few of the dental problems that are a result of extended childhood thumb-sucking.

  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Open Bite
  • Protruding Front Teeth
  • Misaligned Teeth
  • Future Speech Problems
  • Altered Facial Appearance
  • Narrow Upper Jaw
  • Altered Growth of the Palate on the Roof of the Mouth
  • Difficulty Swallowing
  • Tonsil Collapse
  • Skeletal Deformities

How Your Dentist Can Help Stop Childhood Thumb Sucking

If you have tried everything to get your child to stop sucking their thumb, but nothing seems to work, your dentist can help. The dentist might recommend a palatal expander in Shaker Height, OH for your child. This appliance changes the surface of your child’s mouth, so they don’t get the same satisfaction when they put their thumb in their mouth.

Do You Need a Dentist in Shaker Heights, OH?

If you need a dentist in Shaker Heights, OH, or the surrounding area, please Contact McGuire Orthodontics and Facial Orthopedics today. Our patients are our highest priority and our best-in-the-industry team uses fun to keep smiles on our patients’ faces. Reach out any time. We look forward to hearing from you!

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