The Long Term Effects of Thumb Sucking

   Does your child suck their thumb? This is very common among young children. Hunger, boredom, or stress can be triggers for thumb sucking in kids. However, what are the long term effects of thumb sucking?

Negative Effects

   When we see a child suck their thumb, it seems pretty cute! It is not too much of an issue as far as dental health is concerned until the baby teeth start coming in. This is generally around the ages of 5 to 6. While some kids naturally grow out of this habit, others do not. Thumb sucking past the ages of 5 and 6 can cause problems. Here are some long term effects of thumb sucking, according to

  • Teeth being pushed around, which might cause an overbite or an under bite to form
  • A lisp being formed because constant thumb sucking can affect the jaw bone positioning
  • Germs from your thumb and surrounding areas affecting your body
  • The roof of the mouth becoming altered or more sensitive

   Kick the Habit

   As you can see, it is important to your child’s dental health to overcome this habit. As a parent, you can help them avoid the long term effect of thumb sucking. Here are some tips, thanks to

  1. Don’t nag or punish your child for sucking their thumbs as it may create stress and a reason to suck their thumbs more.
  2. Teach your child the reasons why they can’t continue to suck their thumbs. Explain to them the long term effects of such a habit and what that might entail.
  3. Eliminate sources of stress which could be the reason why your child sucks their thumbs.
  4. When your child sucks their thumb, distract them with a toy or a song.

Without a doubt, there are serious long term effects of thumb sucking. If you have any questions about thumb sucking, contact us!

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