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Thumb Sucking Habit

Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit

Thumb Sucking Habit is normal pattern behaviour amongst many primates, including humans. A harmless action can cause detrimental problems to your child’s teeth if you don’t put a stop to it.

The pressure of sucking can cause deformities to your mouths. Deformities may include movement of front teeth forward, impairment of bite, and misalignment of permanent teeth. If the habit continues beyond the ages of 4-6 the problems become more likely to occur.

We recommend parents monitor their child’s thumb-sucking habit and assist him or her to discontinue the habit when appropriate.

One of the solutions to break the thumb-sucking habit is to get your baby accustomed to a pacifier. Please make sure the pacifier you are using is BPA-free. There are many concerns that BPA can affect the brain and certain hormones in children and infants. BPA stands for Bisphenol A, a chemical found in polycarbonate plastics.

Most children stop sucking their thumbs before they are old. If it continues here are some tips that may help:

  • Find and reduce the cause of anxiety your child may be feeling.
  • Cover their thumb or hand with bandages or baby mittens.
  • Praise your child when they are not sucking- praising behavior you want them to do through positive reinforcement will make it more likely they will continue that behavior.
  • Paint bitter medication onto their thumb.

If thumb sucking persists, bring your child down to the Dental Junction and we can examine the nature of their teeth and provide them with a fun education.

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