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Did you know that thumb sucking can be detrimental to the oral health of a child? If thumb sucking continues over a prolonged period of time, it can alter the look, shape, and position of teeth.

Thumb sucking can cause malocclusions, which are misalignments with the teeth. Fortunately, thumb sucking is a phase that most young people go through, and one that many grow out of. Typically, a child should stop sucking their thumb by the time they are 4 years old. If a child continues to suck their thumbs as permanent teeth begin to grow in, it can stunt their growth.

One particular technique that should be used to help your child is constant praise. Thumb sucking is often linked to low confidence, as thumb sucking is used a security blanket. Do what you can to boost the confidence and self-esteem in your child so that they do not feel they need to rely on this form of protection. If that fails to work, it may be possible for the child’s pediatrician to intervene and use a foul-tasting substance used to coat their thumbs to help break the habit.

If you would like to schedule your child’s professional cleaning at North Texas Smiles or would like a comprehensive oral exam from Dr. Justin Warcup and our team at our pediatric office in Fort Worth, Texas, please give us a call at 817-732-9341. Come in and become a success story with a whiter, brighter smile for your child today.