Pediatric Health Care Focus: Thumb Sucking

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Thumb-sucking in children is an entirely natural part of growing up, but it is bad for the alignment of their teeth. Extended exposure to thumb sucking causes a child’s teeth to grow in improperly and can even hinder the growth and positions of new teeth. To ensure their future smile will be great, focus your child’s oral health care on thumb sucking. Save their smile with thumb sucking prevention and these important facts:

– Although pacifiers may seem like a suitable substitute to thumb sucking, they are not, as they can cause the same type of damage to your child’s teeth.
– Use a few moments when your child is sucking their thumb to explain to them the effect thumb sucking can have on their teeth.
– Focus on encouraging or praising your child when they stop sucking their thumb by giving them a treat or gift that helps to remind them to not suck their thumb.
– If your child continues to suck their thumb by 4 years of age, you should begin to try to be more proactive to help them break the habit.
– In some conditions, a pediatrician can help with the child’s habit by coating their finger in a foul tasting substance.

Make sure to take good care of your child’s teeth, so they can last a lifetime. For more information about thumb sucking, or to schedule an oral exam with Dr. Trace M. Lund and our team at Provo Pediatric Dentistry, give us a call at 801-373-4200. Our pediatric office is conveniently located in Provo, Utah. We look forward to helping you decide which options will work best in the quest for your child’s healthy smile.