Babies are born with a natural tendency to grab and suck on things. Most parents rely on pacifiers, teething toys and other products to help their child feel relaxed and calm.
Children usually give up this habit naturally between the age of 2-4 years. However, if your child is still thumbsucking surpassing this age, you should take measures so your child does not have to face the consequences.
Problems Faced Due To Thumbsucking
Prolonged or Intense Thumbsucking can have the following effects in the future:
- Open Bite:
Open Bite occurs when the top and bottom front teeth are protruding out of your mouth. Due to this condition, the front teeth don’t touch even if your child’s mouth is completely closed. Open bite needs to be corrected in most cases since they hinder the growth of other teeth around it too.
Overbite is similar to open bite and occurs when the upper front teeth are directed outwards covering the bottom teeth when your child’s mouth is closed instead of them normally touching. This condition can affect the shape of your face and smile. Orthodontic treatment or treatment with braces might be needed to correct this issue.
- Skin Conditions:
Constant exposure to moisture makes the skin vulnerable to other injuries. Children who suck their thumbs may experience uncomfortable or serious skin problems depending on the severity of their habit. The skin may get cut and bleed making skin vulnerable to infection. Additionally, the sucking can warp the thumbnail, causing ingrowth or peeling. If your child is suffering from the following, you should bandage the thumb and keep it protected.
- Speech Impediment:
Thumbing sucking can affect the growth of your child’s teeth, jaw and palate. It can also change how your child speaks and eats. Naturally, this can lead to lisping or other speech impediments. The shape of your mouth affects your speech so, without correction your speech may not fully recover. Suffering from speech impediments can affect your confidence and happiness.
Tips To Stop Thumbsucking
Here are a few pointers to make your child break the habit of thumbsucking:
- Praise your child for not sucking his/her thumb.
- Children often suck their thumbs when feeling they need comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
- For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
- Your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking and help your child fix the malaligned teeth caused by thumbsucking.
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Creative Smiles, in Thane, Mumbai can bring the sparkle back to your smile and help you attain a smile you’ll be proud to show off. To learn more, contact us to schedule your no-obligation consultation today!