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Reasons why Dentists in Woodlands TX Discourage Thumb-Sucking

Every parent in Woodlands TX will want their babies to breastfeed or take a bottle effectively for their nutrition and growth. But, babies tend to suck on anything they can find. A lot of them may develop a habit of sucking their thumb. This could be caused by their desire to take on another bottle or their mother’s milk. However, this habit should be broken when the child reaches the age of four. Otherwise, this can result in many issues later in their life. These include the following:

Dental Malformation

At age 4, the jaw and facial bones of a child start to grow and reshape to accommodate the adult teeth’s eruption. Unfortunately, thumb-sucking can send the upper jaw outward and push the lower teeth inward. Also, thumb-sucking can force the teeth to turn which could leave the child having misaligned teeth and problem chewing. A child who experiences any dental malformation should be taken to Leiker Orthodontics the Woodlands TX.

Speech Issues

As a child turns 9, they should be able to have a more mature swallow than they used to. When they suck their thumb for a long time, their oral muscle development will be affected and results in continued tongue-thrust. This problem is associated with alignment and articulation problems. Speech issues can include difficulty pronouncing Ds and Ts as well as lisping.

Health Problems

Thumb-sucking exposes kids to harmful bacteria. Also, as they experience tooth decay and misaligned, their nutrition will be compromised. In fact, intense thumb sucking can cause the formation of calluses which increases the risk of introducing bacteria into their body.

Habit Formation

Thumb-sucking in kids who are older than six months is usually a soothing habit. This can comfort themselves when they feel hungry, bored, or sleepy. But, when thumb-sucking continues after age 5, the child may have an emotional issue or anxiety. It is important to bring the child t a doctor to determine the underlying reasons for their behavior.

Dentists and physicians in the Woodlands TX discourage thumb sucking while a child gets older. While pacifiers are not the ultimate solution, they can protect kids from the speech, dental, and health issues associated with long-term thumb-sucking. Often, kids can break their thumb-sucking habit with peer pressure at school. However, parents should not wait until their child gets older to help them stop the habit. They should not tolerate it the moment they see their baby sucking their tongue. Truly, prevention is better than cure. But, if your child is experiencing dental issues as a result of thumb sucking, let your visit a Woodlands TX dentist.

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