Monday, April 25, 2016

Member Question: Thumb Sucking

Questions From Our Members

E. Blake of Oakland, California asks: 

I took my 4 year old to the dentist for her first visit.  The check-up went fine, but the doctor told me that if I didn't break her of thumb sucking real soon she would need braces later on.  Is that really possible?

Savon’s Answer

First, we need to say that we are not dentists here but we do have a great group of dentists that we get advice from.

Thumb sucking, finger sucking or the use of a pacifier puts unnecessary pressure on the teeth, as well as the bone and soft tissues of the mouth.
Because these parts of the mouth are still growing, it can cause issues with jaw growth and tooth movement.  Extended thumb sucking can lead to what we know as “Buck Teeth”.

You should pay close attention to your child’s thumb sucking habit.  Your child may be a passive thumb sucker, where the thumb simply rests gently against the mouth.  If your child falls into this category, there is less of a chance for damage to occur.  But if your child aggressively sucks her thumb, pressure will be placed on the mouth and teeth, leading to
improper alignment and mouth and jaw growth. It can also affect the shape of the face if not stopped early enough.

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