The Effects of Thumbsucking
Babies are born with the instinct to suck, this is important for feeding, and it brings them considerable comfort to do so. Besides eating, babies use their mouths for a lot of exploratory information gathering, they inherently bring everything to their mouths, and many parents are happy to let them suck on their fingers. Allowing your baby to suck on their thumbs is ok, but the habit should be broken in their toddler years and definitely before permanent teeth come in. Our team at Puget Sound Pediatric Dentistry can review your child’s current teeth positioning and discuss the importance of not allowing long term thumbsucking.
Babies and young children find thumbsucking to be very soothing, and a great help during stressful times such as going to bed or when they are feeling sleepy or grumpy. We want your child to be able to self-soothe, it is important in their development. What we don’t want is for your child to adjust the positioning, or prevent correct positioning of their permanent teeth. Children who continue to suck their thumb past the age of five can have some lasting effects.
Effects of Long Term Thumb Sucking
A child who continues to suck their thumb after the age of five can have some serious oral effects that will require early and more intensive orthodontic intervention. Effects may include:
How to Stop My Child From Sucking their Thumb
We do not advise or promote harsh or insensitive options for stopping a child from sucking their thumb. Children take great comfort from sucking their thumb, and we would never advise a parent to harshly take that comfort away. Parents have time to use a gentle and thoughtful plan for action. Parents can:
We Look Forward To Meeting You
Our front office staff is happy to discuss our services with you. Our dentists are here to serve your children and teens. For more information, contact one of our multiple Seattle area offices.
919 State Ave #104
Marysville, WA 98270
Phone: (360) 659-8100
9421 N Davies Road, Suite A,
Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Phone: (425) 367-4149
14090 Fryelands Blvd Suite 348, Monroe, WA 98272
Phone: (360) 863-8700
7104 265th Street NW. #110
Stanwood, WA 98292
Phone: (360) 339-8000