How Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Affect the Teeth of a Child

How Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Affect the Teeth of a Child

Young kids, especially babies, have the urge to suck their thumbs or pacifiers. They do this to soothe themselves or when their stress levels increase mainly. However, thumb or pacifier sucking in younger kids isn’t necessarily something to worry about.

But when they don’t stop this habit until they are in elementary school, it can damage their developing teeth more. The results of these habits are difficult to assess with the naked eye, and it is noticed after a prolonged period. Therefore, a children’s dentist near you is important in addressing these habits and correcting any issues they bring about.

Thumbsucking Why it Happens and What Parents Should Do

Children suck their thumbs because it’s calming and comforting. They might have probably practiced these habits while they were still in the mother’s womb and perfected it when they were infants.

These kids turn to their thumb when they are scared, tired, sick, bored, or trying to adjust to challenges such as preschool or starting daycare. They might also use their thumb to help them sleep at bedtime and lull themselves back to sleep in case they wake up at night.

What Parents Should Do About It

You shouldn’t worry too much if your kid is sucking their thumb. Your kid might suck their thumb and not damage the alignment of the adjusted teeth until the permanent teeth appear. Then, only some of the thumbsucking causes damage.

Your dentist in Roseville, CA, will tell you that the intensity of thumbsucking and the thrust of the tongue deforms the teeth needing braces later. In addition, children who rest their thumbs in their mouths are less likely to have dental problems than kids who suck aggressively.

Let it go: Punishing your kid or nagging them to get there now thumb out of their mouth won’t help because they probably don’t even realize they are doing it. Also, you shouldn’t try pressuring them to stop because it might intensify their desire to do it even more.

Try and wait it out: Kids usually give up sucking pacifiers and dams when they find other ways to comfort and calm themselves. For example, if your kid tends to suck their thumb when hungry, they will learn to look for something to eat.

Will Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Habits Harm your Child’s Teeth

Kids sucking might lead to some damage to your kid’s teeth. Some of the concerns of thumbsucking include:

Orthodontic Problems

Extended sucking on a pacifier or a thumb can permanently reshape the shape of the jaws and facial bones. In addition, the pressure from a pacifier or a thumb works similarly to another don’t take appliance in that it removes the position of your kid’s teeth.

When your kid sucks the pacifier or thumb, it causes the top front teeth jet outward. It can also cause the front teeth not to fit together. When your kid’s back teeth bite together, there will be a giant gap or generate an open bite between the front top and the bottom teeth. Ensure your visit our children’s dentist in Roseville, CA, if you notice some of these flows in your kid’s teeth.

Jaw Pain

When your kid’s crooked teeth don’t bite together properly, they are your point most irregularly to chew food. After some time, the irregular movements might cause serious joint damage or TMJ pain.

TMJ disorders usually present themselves as earaches or headaches. They also contribute to jaw clicking and teeth grinding and clenching.

How to Stop your Children from Using Pacifiers and Thumbsucking

Our children’s dentists at Smile Shine Dental will advise you to take these steps to help your kid get rid of pacifiers and thumbsucking:

  • Limit pacifier or thumbsucking use only when your kid is upset or during bedtime
  • Please don’t allow your kid to carry the pacifier around in their mouth when watching TV or playing.
  • If your kid engages in the habit when they have stuffed animals with them or a special blanket, try removing the comfort item.
  • For pacifiers, try cutting the nipple over time, making it shorter.
  • Ensure you limit their use of the pacifier to bedtime or nap time on me or when they are upset
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