Is Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Ruining Their Smile?

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Is Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Ruining Their Smile?

No one can deny how cute it is to see a little toddler self-soothing with the help of a thumb.  Witnessing a child become calm, sleepy and cuddly by sucking on their thumb gives most parents a sense of comfort themselves – who wants to see their child upset?  But apart from the initial comfort received – can the habit of Thumb-Sucking cause more damage to a young smile?

When To Stop Thumb-Sucking

Calgary Dentists at Metro Dental in Harvest Hillscan attest to the challenges parents have in trying to remove a pacifier or stop a child from sucking on a thumb.  It’s traumatic for anyone to give up something that brings comfort – think about never having a morning coffee!  But what if the habit of thumb-sucking was potentially damaging the healthy development of a young mouth – stopping the habit would be preferable to avoid speech and chewing problems and the risk of needing significant orthodontic treatment down the road.  Regular visits to the dentist are important for children of all ages, regardless of whether they use a pacifier or suck fingers or a thumb – but when there is a habit that can interfere with arch development – regular monitoring becomes even more crucial.

Can Thumb-Sucking Interfere With Arch Development?

Young bodies not only heal at an incredibly fast rate – they also modify to environmental influences incredibly quickly.  Orthodontic Treatment is a great example of how a young smile can be improved in a short period of time – as bones are still forming and growth patterns can be influenced.  Unfortunately the same can be said of Thumb-Sucking – it too can have a marked impact on the development of a child’s mouth – frequently causing a narrow upper arch and protruding top front teeth.  As cute as this look may be when you’re four – it can cause self-esteem issues in a maturing child and pose some real challenges when it comes to chewing food and pronouncing certain words.  The pressure of the thumb or fingers against the roof of the mouth makes it become more ‘v’ shaped instead of the wider, less vertical arch shape that a dentist wants to see.

Does Your Child Still Suck Their Thumb?

The Family Dentists at Metro Dental want parents to understand that monitoring this oral habit is a great place to start – as changes to arch development and tooth position can be diagnosed early and appropriate steps taken to correct the situation.  Children are incredibly adaptable – and getting them to stop sucking fingers or a thumb can be achieved when the right approach is taken.

If you’re concerned about your child’s dental health – talk to the dental team at Metro Dental today 403.262.2627

By |2016-03-08T06:56:39+00:00March 1st, 2016|Metro Dental News|0 Comments