Posted .

It is very natural for children to want to suck their thumbs – so natural that some children even do it in the womb. It helps them feel secure as they are growing and encountering new things in the environment. However, there is a catch; thumb sucking hinders the progress of a child’s oral health. That’s just one reason why children need to drop the habit once they reach a certain age. Here are some further facts and tips on the matter:

– Thumb sucking can result in malocclusions and alter the alignment of teeth in a child’s mouth.
– Thumb sucking can slow the growth of the teeth.
– Many people view pacifiers as a positive alternative to thumb sucking, but pacifiers can cause the same alignment problems.
– If you need help with motivating your child to quit the habit, your pediatrician may prescribe a foul-tasting substance to put on their thumbs to discourage thumb sucking.
– If your child is particularly inclined to suck their thumb in an environment where they do not feel safe, help them build their self-confidence so they no longer feel the need to do so.
– Thumb sucking can introduce bad bacteria to a child’s mouth, which can in turn build gum disease.

Make time in your life to visit your pediatrician at Hardy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for a bi-annual professional cleaning. If needed, you can also book an appointment with Dr. Troy Hardy for a detailed exam of your oral health. You can reach our pediatric office in Lehi, Utah, by phoning us at 801-331-8449. Let us help your child get a whiter, brighter smile today!