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Thumb Sucking and the Impact on Oral Health

Thumb sucking is a common practice among infants and young children. Children suck on various things to pacify themselves. This could be fingers, pacifiers, thumbs and other objects that help the children to soothe themselves and also aids them in feeling secure and elated. You may often see a young child soothing him to sleep sucking his thumb.

Thumb sucking can be quite detrimental for the teeth. With the onset of permanent teeth, sucking may cause changes in the roof of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. Usually, the intensity of the sucking is a clear indicator of whether there is a chance of dental problems.

If the child just keeps the thumb in the mouth without active sucking, then there are fewer chances of dental issues arising. Children who suck their thumb vigorously may develop a problem with the alignment of the primary teeth and also it also affects the growth of teeth in the mouth.

Children usually suck their teeth till the age of four or by the time their front teeth are ready to erupt. Any changes in the teeth during this time should be communicated to your dentist. Dr. Lily Lo works with many children and encourages parents to bring their kids for their first dental appointment by the age of 3.

The earlier you bring your child in to their first dental appointment, the better. This is an opportunity for them to develop healthy oral health habits and to detect any problems before they become more serious. At Lawrence Avenue Dental in Toronto, your kid’s smile is important to us and we will do what we can to make them feel comfortable while providing helpful tips to the parents about oral care at home.

You can help your child let go of this thumb sucking habit using the following tricks:

  • Children usually try to soothe themselves through sucking thumb. As a parent, you may reduce the cause of anxiety and sooth them to sleep.
  • Encourage him when he is not sucking his thumb and involve your child in choosing how he wishes to stop this habit if he is older.
  • A trip to the dentist at Lawrence Avenue Dental in East Toronto will be beneficial and informative for the child.

You may use a bitter medicine to coat the thumb or a band-aid at night time when the child is most likely to suck his thumb.

To learn more about the importance of your kids oral health, give Lawrence Avenue Dental a call today. We love working with kids and it gives us great joy to start them early.

Our office welcomes families of all ages. We are conveniently located at 1200 Lawrence Avenue in Toronto. Just a short distance away from DVP and Lawrence Avenue. Call us at 416.444.9045 to schedule your dental appointment.


Lawrence Avenue Dental June 16, 2019