How Thumb Sucking Can Lead to a Dental Disaster

Most kids suck their thumbs from time to time. But at what point does it become a problem? The answer might surprise you. Your dentist in Jacksonville, FL, will be the first to tell you what can happen if you don’t get a handle on it sooner rather than later.

How Long Is Thumb Sucking OK?

Babies and toddlers suck their thumbs as a self-soothing mechanism. However, if it continues for too long it can cause long-term damage to their mouth and teeth (more about that in a moment).

After six months of age, a child’s thumb-sucking urge should decrease. However, 30% or so continue through their preschool years. A child will usually wean themselves off thumb-sucking around age three. Anything past that could turn into a dental disaster.

How Thumb Sucking Will Affect Your Child’s Teeth

These are some of the dental disasters that could happen if your child continues to suck their thumb past the age of three.

  • Overbite
  • Open bite
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Speech impediments
  • Social impacts (due to being the only one still sucking their thumb)

How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Your family dentist in Jacksonville, FL, has a foolproof solution to stop your child’s thumb-sucking issue quickly. Who would have thought a dentist could help? But they can!

Your dentist can fit your child with a special oral appliance called a palatal crib. A tongue crib (palatal crib) is cemented behind your child’s teeth. It prevents the thumb from reaching the roof of the mouth, reducing the gratification of thumb-sucking.

Do You Need a Dentist in Jacksonville, FL?

If you have a thumb-sucking child past the age of three, don’t wait to talk with your dentist about your options. Contact Dr. Matt Henry today. Our terrific staff understands how to deal with children and their dental issues properly. And we would love to help you fix your child’s thumb-sucking issues before they become a bigger problem.

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