When and How Thumb Sucking Can Lead to Dental Problems

Thumb sucking is a normal part of childhood. But when does normal thumb-sucking turn into a problem? Your dentist in Mountain View, CA wants you to know the facts.

When and How Thumb Sucking Can Lead to Dental Problems

It’s OK to let your baby suck their thumb. This is a natural thing babies do to self-soothe. However, there does come a point when you need to start helping your child break the thumb-sucking habit.

When Does Thumb Sucking Become a Problem?

Your baby’s thumb sucking should begin to decrease around six months of age or so. However, in some children, thumb-sucking goes from self-soothing to being a habit. This is because they have been using thumb-sucking to help themselves fall asleep, etc. Therefore, some children will continue to suck their thumbs well beyond six months if age, and sometimes for many years after. But this is when thumb-sucking becomes a problem.

Children start to lose their baby teeth around age five or six. And if a child is still sucking their thumb at that age, severe dental problems can occur. Dental issues that could affect their oral health for the rest of their lives.

Dental Problems Related to Thumb Sucking

Any pediatric dentist in Mountain View, CA will tell you that it’s best to help your child break the thumb-sucking habit long before their adult teeth begin to come in. Here are some of the problems that come from thumb-sucking.

  • Misaligned teeth.
  • Social issues.
  • Overbite or open bite.
  • Tooth decay.
  • Gum disease.
  • Speech impediments due to their teeth being misaligned.
  • Thumb sucking can also affect the growth of your child’s palate, leading to other problems such as tonsil collapse, snoring, difficulty swallowing, and even skeletal deformities.

There are different recommendations about when you should begin to help your child break their thumb-sucking habit. However, some experts and the Mayo Clinic recommend you start addressing this issue before your child turns three.

What’s Next?

If you need a pediatric dentist in Mountain View, CA, please Contact Cassara Dental today. We take the care of your child’s dental health very seriously. And we understand how important it is for your child to have a positive dental experience. An experience that will form how they feel about going to the dentist for the rest of their life.

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