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How Does Sucking Their Thumbs Affect Kids’ Teeth? Your Children’s Dentist Explains

October 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — foxcreekteam @ 9:29 pm

baby with bottleYoung children often love to suck on their thumbs, pacifiers, and other similar things; it’s a natural reflex that soothes them and helps them cope with unfamiliar situations. Unfortunately, if this habit continues for too long, it can negatively affect kids’ oral health. In fact, it may impact the way teeth develop and contribute to decay too. Your children’s dentist in Loveland is here to give more insight into this issue and provides ideas for helping your kids adjust their habits.

Thumb Sucking and Tooth Development Problems

If your child constantly and vigorously sucks their thumb beyond age two, the pressure can influence the way the teeth develop. The front teeth may begin to protrude outward, leading to an open bite. It could mean that your child will need braces later on.

To discourage thumb sucking, educate your little one on the potential bad consequences. If there is a certain trigger for the thumb sucking, try to help your child avoid it. You could use a reward system as well; if your child goes for a certain amount of time without thumb sucking, you can offer him or her a little prize. You may also visit your dentist in Loveland to get more tips on how to help your precious young one nix the habit.

Baby Bottles, Pacifiers, and Tooth Decay

Baby bottles and pacifiers may not cause problems with the way teeth develop, but they come with their own set of concerns. Some parents fill a bottle with a sugary drink or dip a pacifier in honey or another sweet substance. Kids love the sweet stuff, but letting them indulge frequently can lead to cavities.

It might be tempting to reason that, since baby teeth fall out eventually anyway, you shouldn’t worry about cavities when your kids are very young. However, cavities in baby teeth can open the way for infections. Keep in mind, too, that those baby teeth help your child eat and speak properly. If they fall out too soon — or they need to be pulled because of cavities — your little one is going to suffer.

To stop this problem, avoid giving your child sweet drinks when they’re ready to go to bed; you don’t want the sugar to cling to their teeth all night. Also, get your child into an oral hygiene routine by cleaning their teeth and gums regularly. Visiting your family dentist in Loveland is also essential; babies should have their first appointment about the time their first tooth shows up.

Sucking on their thumb, a bottle, or a pacifier is a natural reflex for your little one, but these habits can cause damage if they aren’t kept in check. A few simple preventive measures can make sure that baby’s smile stays healthy!

About Fox Creek Family Dental

The talented team of dentists at Fox Creek Family Dental are eager to help patients of all ages have healthy, beautiful smiles. If it’s time for your child’s next checkup, or you need help to correct your child’s bad habits, feel free to contact our Loveland office at 720-458-6401.

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