Are Pacifier Use and Thumb Sucking Healthy Habits for Children?

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If your child likes to suck their thumb or loves their pacifier, you may wonder if this causes any problems for them. The truth is, sucking is a natural reflex for infants; they even suck their fingers in the womb. It helps babies to feel secure and happy as they learn and grow.

There is a point, however, when thumb sucking and pacifier use should be discouraged. Not only are these habits a symbol of immaturity in our society, but they can create issues with the proper alignment of your child’s teeth. It can also create changes to the roof of the mouth.

Most children end their thumb sucking or pacifier habit between the age of two and four. After age two, you can start limiting the use of a pacifier, and by age four, they should be fully weaned. If thumb sucking continues after age four, you can try bandaging their thumbs or putting socks over their hands at night to help them break the habit. If this is not helpful, Dr. Jennifer Morgan or your pediatrician might be able to fit your child with a mouth appliance or bad-tasting medication to coat the thumb.

If you would like other insights about how to help your child to stop their sucking habit in Athens, Texas, just give DentalWorks a call at 903-675-0023 today!