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.
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.