A Pediatric Dentist in Farmers Branch Explains the Negatives of Thumb Sucking

Boy sucking thumb.Does your son or daughter suck their thumb? This may seem cute and harmless, and it may even calm them down, but did you know that it can affect their oral health negatively? It can even impact the future of their teeth. Keep reading to discover some of the negative side affects of thumb sucking and why you shouldn’t let your loved ones suck their thumbs from a pediatric dentist in Farmers Branch.

#1: Overbite

The most serious negative affect that thumb sucking can have is malocclusion. This is an umbrella term for tooth misalignment that is still visible when the mouth is closed. The two most common types are overbite and open bite. Overbite occurs when the top row of teeth is directed outward. This means that your child’s top teeth cover their bottom teeth instead of the top and bottom meeting normally.

#2: Open Bite

Open bite occurs when the top and bottom teeth are directed outward. This usually results in the front teeth not even touching when your child’s mouth is closed. Both overbites and open bites will require orthodontic treatment and it can even affect potential future oral health treatments.

#3: Skin Problems

If thumb sucking persists over the years, your child may have skin problems on the thumb that they favor. It may crack, bleed, or make your kid more vulnerable to infection. Additionally, it can cause ingrown and peeling of nails. You can try to put a bandage or glove on your child’s hand to avoid the thumb sucking.

#4: Speech Problems

Since thumb sucking affects the teeth and jaw, it can also change how your loved one eats and speaks. Thumb sucking can cause lisps and other speech impediments like not being able to pronounce certain letters. Without proper dental care, even expert speech therapy won’t be able to fully correct this problem.

#5: Social Issues

The older your child gets, the more of a social concern thumb sucking is. While it is a common habit, as your child gets older, they may be the target of jokes and ridicule because of their thumb sucking. Thumb sucking is often a crutch for anxiety or boredom, which is why your kid may need help and support to break their habit.

Your loved one may look adorable as they suck their thumb, but this could cause potential damage to their oral health in the future. Keep these tips and the consequences of thumb sucking in mind the next time you see your child turning to this habit.

About the Practice

At Rio Dental & Orthodontics, we have a team of 7 expert dentists, 2 of which are board certified pediatric dentists. This means they’ve undergone years of additional training to provide the best care possible for children specifically. For any questions, they can be reached through their website or by phone at (972) 793-0735.

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You can play a part in preparing your child for his or her first visit to our office. Informing your child of the visit as an exciting experience for both of you can ease any hesitations. As a parent try to act relaxed, since your child may sense any anxiety on your part.

Explain to your child that the doctor will “count, brush, and maybe take pictures of their teeth”. We also ask that you assume the role of a silent observer. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between the doctor, staff, and your child and not through you. Your child may become confused if receiving instructions from multiple sources.

We recommend bringing your baby in for their first dental appointment by their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth appearing (whichever comes first). During this appointment, we will examine your baby’s mouth to track their dental development and discuss age-appropriate dental care.

It’s easy to make appointments to visit our office online or over the phone. Rio Dental sees patients both for checkups and dental emergencies. Using our online scheduler, you can select the location and time slot that works best for you for either type of appointment. If you have any questions regarding our practice, or simply prefer to make your appointment with a live member of staff, please don’t hesitate to call!

Rio Dental Group accepts most PPO insurances. We recommend that new patients and returning patients with new insurance policies reach out to us before their appointment to confirm coverage. Our Fort Worth location also sees patients who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP programs.

We don’t like surprises, either! Our staff is prepared to discuss the cost of dental services before you undergo treatment so that you know what to expect in terms of fees. The cost of your services will be due at the end of your appointment. Our office accepts payment by cash, credit card, or check.

Rio Dental Group allows patients to pay with their CareCredit card. CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed to cover out-of-pocket costs at over 225,000 providers nationwide. After leaving the office, card holders will be able to make convenient monthly payments towards their balance. To learn more, visit the CareCredit website.

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