Grover Beach Dentist, Dr. Perry Patel, Releases Important Information About Thumb Sucking And Your Child’s Teeth

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–Thumb sucking is natural for infants and toddlers and is not something parents should worry too much about up to 4 years of age, but past that the habit can contribute to dental problems. Grover Beach dentist, Dr. Perry Patel has recently released a report to help parents know when to intervene and help their child stop the habit.

Sucking is a natural reflex, especially for infants. Because babies nurse for nutrition it follows that a youngster would association sucking on a thumb or a pacifier with the comfort he or she feels when nursing. Most toddlers give up thumb sucking and the pacifier by age 4 on their own, but one in five children may continue past the fifth birthday.

Continued thumb sucking, especially after the permanent teeth start coming in, can cause problems with tooth alignment, the child’s bite, and contribute to lisping. Aggressive thumb sucking may contribute to dental problems even in children under 5 years old.

Pacifiers can have similar effects on teeth but is usually an easier habit to break,

When to be concerned

Some things like a new baby in the family, starting school, or a stressful event might cause a youngster to resume the habit. Temporarily restarting the habit is probably not going to cause any harm. Most children who take up thumb sucking again stop on their own within a short time.

Anytime a parent is concerned is the right time to discuss the habit with the family dentist or pediatrician. A dental examination can determine if there are any problematic changes in the child’s mouth and recommend the best corrective approach. The American Dental Association reports that some of the effects of long-term thumb sucking beyond the age of 5 years include:

  • Changing the position of the teeth, causing an overbite or an underbite
  • Make protruding teeth more likely to chip or break
  • Alter the shape of the roof of the mouth or the jaw
  • Affect speaking and eating
  • Germs from your thumb and surrounding areas affecting your body
  • The roof of the mouth becoming altered or more sensitive
  • Create more exposure to germs

Helping your child break the habit

  • Provide a distraction such as reading a story, playing a game, or coloring
  • Be sure to praise for not sucking
  • Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
  • Your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.

Perry Patel DDS
901 Park Boulevard #103
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
(805) 489-4761

This press release is by San Luis Obispo online advertising company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446. (805) 226-9890.

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