You know it’s natural.
Have you ever questioned why children should stop at a certain again, though?
Or what effects it can have on the growth of their teeth or alignment?
According to mouthhealthy.org — Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, or other objects may make babies feel happy and secure.
Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep.
However, it can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth after long-term use. Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break.
The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth.
Children usually stop sucking between the ages of two and four-years-old, or by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth or are concerned about your child’s thumbsucking, consult your dentist.
Tips for helping your child stop thumbsucking:
- Praise your child 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.
To read more from MouthHealthy.org on thumbsucking, please visit their website: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thumbsucking