Thumb sucking is one of those childhood habits that causes parents everywhere to worry about the permanent damage that their child may be doing to their teeth. The truth is that most kids will stop sucking their thumbs on their own between the ages of two and four, usually, before any sort of dental problems come up.
If your child is still sucking his or her thumb by the age of four or five – or when the permanent teeth begin to come in – then you might have cause for concern. One sign that intervention may be needed is if the teeth in the front have begun to “tip” or shift as a result of the pressure from the thumb.
Tips To Help End Thumb Sucking
- Use positive reinforcement such as stickers when you catch them not thumb sucking.
- Notice what triggers thumb sucking. Is your child stressed? Anxious? Overly tired? Try hugging your child and talking about what’s wrong.
- Gently remind your child if you see him or her thumb sucking. Don’t scold or punish. It can be difficult to break such a comforting habit.
If you’re concerned about your child’s thumb-sucking habit, call Bridgeton dentist Dr. Kevin Burgdorf. Dr. Burgdorf has plenty of experience caring for children and will discuss your concerns with you and provide advice and encouragement to help your child break the thumb habit.