Like any good parent, you may be a bit worried about your child’s thumsucking or pacifier use. You’ve probably heard about all the the potential damage that overuse of the pacifier or thumbsucking can cause. What’s important to remember is that sucking is a natural reflex and that our Little Heroes begin to perform this action while still in the womb. Infants and toddlers usually suck on their thumbs or pacifiers for a number of reasons. It makes them feel secure during “stressful” times, like separation from their parents while in an unfamiliar environment. Thumbsucking and pacifier use also calms and relaxes them, which can help to induce sleep. Research completed by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry shows that most children will stop using a pacifier before four years old. Thumbsucking, however, can be a hard habit to break since you can’t just throw away a thumb like you can a pacifier. Most #Little #Heroes will stop using a pacifier before 4 years old #AAPD #RGV #children#healthy #smiles – click to tweet Aggressive thumbsucking can lead to dental complications if children continue to do so after the age of five (especially for those are continue to use a pacifier or thumb after permanent teeth begin to emerge). Our sidekicks at Little Heroes Dentistry want to ensure that you are able to protect your little one from any permanent damage by providing you a bit of information about thumbsucking, pacifiers, and children’s teeth.
While in most most cases, children will naturally stop using their pacifier or sucking their thumb, it’s vital for parents to keep an eye out for prolonged use that can lead to oral damage. While it can be difficult for a parent to assess the situation, your general dentist should be able to provide you insight about the associated risks of extended thumbsucking and pacifier use, including:
Unfortunately, many parents dip pacifiers in sugar substances like honey to help soothe infants. This can lead to oral bacteria that destroys tooth enamel, and pediatric tooth decay, as well as cavities.
Ulcers and sores can develop in the mouth when a child is aggressively sucking on their pacifier or thumb. Aggressive sucking is noticeable because of popping sounds made when the child uses the sucking device.
Thumb and pacifier sucking can cause growing teeth to slant or protrude. This can ultimately lead to need for orthodontic treatment as the ages.
Constant and extended thumb and pacifier use can cause the roof of the mouth to narrow because of pliability during childhood. This can lead to issues with developing teeth.
Over extended use of pacifiers and thumbsucking can guide the developing jaws out of alignment. #Thumb #sucking and #pacifiers can lead to #tooth #decay, slanting teeth, and jaw misalignment Click To Tweet
Again, thumb sucking and pacifier use is a norm, but use past the age of five can have some consequences if you aren’t careful. Getting your child to stop this practice should mean lots of encouragement and gentle intervention rather than scolding. Consider these useful suggestions to help your child wean themselves off their pacifier and thumb sucking:
Remember that helping your little one break this habit is going to require loves of love, patients, and some time. Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry can help by making sure your child’s oral health care is up to par. Our offices in Laredo, Mission, and San Juan officer the best in pediatric, orthodontic, general, and cosmetic dental care. Come by our offices today and let’s make sure your child always has a perfect smile!