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Does your child continually suck their thumbs causing you to worry about the long-term effects this may have on their teeth? The truth is that sucking thumbs can affect a child’s oral health, so you must take the necessary steps to help them recover.

Thumb-sucking can be detrimental to your child’s oral health. Not only can it stunt the growth of your child’s teeth, it can also push teeth out of alignment, and cause issues with their permanent teeth when they grow in, including the potential for transposition malocclusions, which occurs when they erupt above the gums in the wrong space. Although you may be tempted to use a pacifier to help wean your child off of thumb-sucking, a pacifier can have the same negative consequences on your child’s oral health.

One of the best ways to hinder your child’s desire to suck their thumb is with praise and affection for every time they stop. By encouraging your child to not suck their thumb they will be more inclined to avoid it. In many cases, thumb-sucking can be brought on as a defense mechanism to help the child deal with their fears. It often acts as a security blanket, so always take the time to build your child’s self-esteem and positive self-image.

Always make time in your life for your child to visit their pediatrician at Dental Works. To book an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Morgan for a detailed exam of your child’s oral health, you can reach our dentist office in Athens, Texas, by calling us at 903-675-0023. Let us help you get a whiter, brighter smile today!