Thumb sucking is quite normal and seen in almost every other baby right after birth. It gives them a sense of security and comfort but costs their precious smile. Thumbsuckers, when they grow up, often face issues because of their improper teeth. Therefore, it is advised that the parents help them get rid of this habit during the early years since it threatens a perfect smile. It is best if this issue is resolved by the time your child reaches the age of 3.
One thing to note here is that we have two categories, namely active and passive. All thumbsuckers will not face dental problems like misaligned teeth, bite issues, etc.
If your child just likes keeping the thumb between the teeth, then it falls under the category of passive thumbsuckers. In such individuals, dental issues do not occur. However, inactive sucking cases, a wide range of problems arise. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Relationship Between Thumb Sucking and Teeth
As mentioned earlier, active thumb-sucking children face teeth misalignment issues. It affects the jaw and modifies the shape of the roof of the mouth. Many times, when the transition of thumbsuckers’ teeth from primary ones to permanent happens, the alignment problem corrects itself. However, if it is continuous, the pressure is immense, leading to distortion of the child’s permanent teeth.
An advantage associated with the child having this habit is immunity. Thumb-sucking individuals are exposed to various environmental factors like dirt, dust, bacteria, etc. This is why their immune system is stronger than those who were not introduced to these triggers.
It is a fact that thumbsuckers have better immunity but bad teeth than others later in life. But, encouraging this habit for the sake of immunity is not justifiable.
How To Get Rid Of It?
Usually, children stop this habit when their permanent teeth start to come in – around 6 or 7 years. It is best to observe and not force your child to stop sucking their thumb. Here are some positive measures to make them get rid of this habit. Starting with:
Rewards for good behavior
Inculcate the reward and punishment concept from the beginning in your children. Explain to them why it is important to get rid of this habit and what reward follows if complied with.
Children who suck thumbs have various triggers; they search for safety and comfort, which is found in this. Make sure your child feels safe enough around you to let go of the thumb. Distract them, make creative stories. Children love fantasies, which make them want to get rid of the habit by using tooth fairy stories.
Mouth and Teeth Defects
The level of sucking determines the extent of its effect on teeth. Vigorous thumb sucking because of the pressure makes changes in the jaw and mouth roof. Which causes a bite problem – the upper and lower jaws do not meet because pressure leads to protruding of front teeth. However, the teeth may dip inwards towards the back as well.
Most of these issues mentioned above are temporary if the child gets rid of the thumb-sucking habit.
Final Take Out
Quitting will not be easy, but we are here for you. Whether you want help to quit this issue or restore your smile, Pearl Shine Dental Clinic is your stop. Schedule an appointment with one of our dental experts; call at 281-477-7200.