Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is one of several bad habits that can contribute to dental problems in young children. When you visit Children’s Dentistry, Dr. Mark Nelson and Dr. Treagan White will work with you and your child to help break thumb-sucking habits and other behavioral patterns so that your child can enjoy better oral health. For more information about thumb sucking and habit-breaking treatment in Centerville, Utah, and to make an appointment with our pediatric dentists, call us today at 801-295-8322.

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Thumb and finger sucking is normal in children under the age of 4, and most children will stop sucking on their own between 2 and 4 years of age. However, if this habit persists, it can cause significant damage to the teeth and jaw, including open bites, the horizontal overlap of the front teeth, and crossbites. Likewise, the tongue’s constant pressure against the teeth when swallowing, speaking, and at rest can force teeth and arches out of alignment.

There are many oral appliances available to help break finger sucking and tongue thrusting habits. While thumb sucking appliances work to discourage sucking habits, tongue thrust appliances usually involve a type of “physical therapy” that helps retrain the tongue’s muscles so that it no longer thrusts forward. When you bring your child to our office, our pediatric dentists will work with you both to help break these harmful habits so that your child can enjoy good oral health and a beautiful smile.

In addition to oral appliances, our pediatric dentists may also recommend simple things that you can try at home, such as putting an article of clothing (like a glove or a sock) over the thumb and fingers or creating diversions at times when your child usually sucks his or her fingers. Your child may also suck his or her fingers due to anxiety and may stop if the source of this anxiety is found and soothed.

For more information and to schedule a consultation with our pediatric dentists, please contact our office today.

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Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions about your child’s first visit or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mark Nelson or Dr. Treagan White.