lids dentist Murrells Inlet One of the common childhood dental problems is thumb sucking. What is often a normal and endearing habit among babies can be a big problem when they continue to thumb suck way until they are four or five. Thumb sucking is a harmless habit if the milk teeth haven’t erupted yet. However, when the deciduous teeth have all erupted and the child is slowly into the process of growing permanent teeth, this can lead to the development of malocclusions or bad bites.

What can thumb sucking do?

This habit can lead to the development of an open bite at the front of the child’s teeth. The action can push on the teeth which are found on the smile line. The result is the inability for both the upper and lower jaws to meet each other and close properly when biting down. Another thing that can happen is that the thumb or the finger can push the front teeth backward. This leads to the inward push of the front teeth towards the palate of the child, again leading to an open bite, albeit another form. Lastly, the pressure exerted by the thumb or the finger can push up the developing palate, leading to the alteration in the proper shape of the palate.

How easy is it to correct thumb sucking?

As previously mentioned, thumb sucking may not be such a huge problem if it’s isolated only to the early years of the child when teeth development is still at its infantile stages. In fact, you can let your child satiate his or her need to thumb suck uninterruptedly for a couple of years. However, the habit should stop before the permanent teeth start to grow in. When the thumb sucking is halted as early as then, the child’s bite can still self-correct and there would be no need for any orthodontic treatment in Murrells Inlet.

How can you stop your child from thumb sucking?

When trying to make your child stop with the thumb sucking, it’s important that you do so in a reassuring manner and not in a coercive one. Sometimes, kids thumb suck without activity knowing about it. Remind your child that he or she is thumb sucking whenever it happens and he or she can remove his or her finger on his or her own. Nagging your child or pulling the finger out will only lead to distrust and make your child resistant to putting a halt to the habit.

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