Thumb-Sucking Adversely Affects Children’s Oral Health

How thumb sucking effects children's oral health - Bourne End Dental

From when they are infants, children start to use sucking behaviors as a way to calm themselves. There are numerous parents out there who rely on teething toys, pacifiers, as well as various other items designed specifically for their children to suck on. However, as they get older, children may resort to sucking their finger or thumb.

Unfortunately, this is not healthy. Thumb sucking may have some long-lasting side effects on the oral health of your child. Here are some of the harmful effects that experts at Bourne End Dental warn parents about.

Damages Caused By Thumb-Sucking

·        Open Bite

One of the most serious and permanent side effects of thumb sucking are different types of dental malocclusion. It is a technical term used to describe the misalignment of teeth and is visible when a child’s mouth is closed.

Open bite is a condition that occurs when a child’s front teeth at the top and bottom become directed towards the outside. This misalignment means that your child’s front teeth will not touch, even if their mouth is completely closed.

·        Overbite

Another type of dental malocclusion is an overbite. However, this misalignment of teeth is restricted to the upper teeth at the front. The top teeth completely cover the teeth at the bottom whenever your child closes their mouth. An overbite affects your child’s smile and the shape of their face, as well.

·        Speech Impediment

Since thumb sucking has an impact on the development of a child’s palate, jaw, and teeth, the habit may even change the way they speak and hear. Thumb sucking is known to have caused lisping, along with various other speech impediments. This also includes the inability to pronounce sounds of ‘D’ and ‘T’, as well as other hard consonants.

The Importance of Good Oral Health

As a parent, it is your duty to teach your child how to care for their teeth. This means that you need to arrange frequent visits to qualified dentists for regular checkups and cleaning. Here is a list of things that you can do to maintain your child’s mouth with strong teeth.

  1. Ensure that they get enough fluoride. If you are unsure about how much to give your child, contact an expert at Bourne End Dental to discuss this.
  2. Make sure that your child follows a healthy diet, which is rich in vegetables and fruits but low in added sugars.
  3. Have them brush their teeth twice a day.

It is important to help your children develop healthy habits when it comes to caring for their teeth while they are still young. These habits are going to help them maintain a good oral health care system throughout their lives. It will also help them avoid various teeth-related problems that arise due to poor oral health care, including cavities, gum disease, and many more.

Focus on encouraging habits that improve your child’s oral care and find ways to deter them from sucking on their thumbs.