A Kid Dentist in Carlsbad shares tips on thumb sucking

Thumb sucking- Dr. Jenna Khoury, DMD, The Brush Stop Dental Dr. Jenna Khoury, DMD, Board Certified Pediatric Dentist in Carlsbad, frequently gets asked, “What are some tips to stop thumb sucking for children?” It is important to note that if your child sucks his or her thumb or has other soothing habits, you are not alone and this is a natural, comforting habit in children.  On that same note, we must keep in mind that although thumb/finger sucking is a global trend, the fact of the matter is that it can lead to dental problems if the habit is not discontinued at an appropriate age.

The most common theme in thumb sucking is it is a very natural, self-soothing reflex that happens in infants as a form of safety and comfort. Many children begin sucking their thumbs even in utero!  Many parents tend to oversee the potential problems it can cause since the child will use this method to fall to sleep. However, if the habit persists beyond the age of 2-3 years, you may want to consult your local Kid Dentist in Carlsbad to see what the best methods are to overcome this habit.

When does thumb sucking become a real issue?  

Evidence shows that children who cease the habit by roughly age 3-4 tend not to display any permanent skeletal effects, however this relies heavily in part to not only the duration, and frequency, but also the force of thumb sucking. For example, the child who is sucking their thumb aggressively, and audibly for hours on end, will have a very different skeletal outcome to those who are passively resting their thumb in their mouth right before bedtime. This is why consulting your pediatric dentist early on is crucial in preventing any permanent skeletal discrepancies like open bites or crossbites.

What should you do as a Parent?

We see a decline in thumb-sucking in school aged children due to the social implications surrounded by the habit. However, if your child is still sucking their thumb into age 5,6 + make sure you encourage your children in a positive manner. Children at this age must make a conscientious effort to drop the habit, and many times cannot be forced to change. Informing your child that their habit could cause permanent damage to their teeth and developing jaw, in conjunction with positive reinforcement charts often does the trick. We are more than happy to discuss different ways you can help support your child through this transition.

The Pediatric Specialist- Your child’s favorite Kid Dentist In Carlsbad

When thumb sucking starts to become an issue and you see that it is more frequent, please don’t wait out on reaching out to set your appointment with The Brush Stop Dental Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics by calling: 760-635-5995.  The sooner the Pediatric Dental specialist can see your child, the better the results and outcome can be! We are right next to CVS and at the intersection of La Costa Ave and Rancho Santa Fe Rd. 

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