The Effects of Thumb-Sucking

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Thumb-sucking may not seem like a big deal, but the truth of the matter is that it can have some serious lasting effects on your kids’ oral health.

While thumb-sucking is fairly common and most kids outgrow it, some don’t. If your kids haven’t, then it’s time you take their habit seriously.

To illustrate why it can be a problem, out team here at Provo Pediatric Dentistry put this list together of potential problems that can arise from thumb-sucking.

Can create a need for braces

While the American Dental Association has acknowledged that not all thumb-sucking is damaging to teeth health, they have noted that if your children are intensely sucking their thumbs, that’s a fairly good sign you need to try to get them to stop. Otherwise, they’ll potentially damage their bite and need braces at a pretty early age.

Damages adult teeth

If you don’t take steps to wean your children away from sucking their thumb and let it continue past the age of five or six, when adult teeth usually begin appearing, then the thumb-sucking can cause alignment damage to adult teeth. It can also hurt the overall health of the adult teeth if it’s not countered quickly.

Causes speech issues

One function of teeth that’s often overlooked is their role in speech. If you let your kids suck their thumbs for too long, it can cause speech issues due to misaligned teeth.

If you’re worried that your child’s thumb-sucking habit may be causing some long-term consequences, call us today at 801-373-4200 to schedule a consultation.