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At some point in your life, you probably suck your thumb. In fact, most people do. However, it is not something that should be encouraged. This is because it is a known risk factor for the alignment of your teeth. If a child continues to suck their thumb, it can inhibit the proper growth of their mouth and tooth alignment. It is even known to alter the shape of the roof of your mouth.

Many individuals often suggest using pacifiers to wean your child onto, and although these tools are an easier habit to break with children when needed, they can still lead to the same issues. However, sucking a pacifier while sleeping has been shown to lower a child’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome.

The risks of thumb-sucking extend beyond the growth of their teeth. Oftentimes, a child’s fingers are covered with germs and bacteria. Tooth decay and infection due to new bacteria being introduced into their mouth can arise. To help prevent thumb sucking, always praise your child whenever they’re not sucking their thumb. This is because they often use it as a security blanket.

Additional treatments can be provided by their pediatric dentist in which they coat their finger with a foul substance to discourage thumb sucking. As long as your child stops sucking their thumb or using pacifiers by the time their permanent teeth grow in, they should be ok.

Come speak with Smile Wright Dental to learn which thumb sucking treatments are right for your child. To schedule an oral exam with Dr. Amber N. Wright and our team at our pediatric office in Springfield, Ohio, simply give us a call at 937-322-5437.