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Family Care Dental Clinic

Tips to Wean Children Off Thumb Sucking Habit

Tips to Wean Children Off Thumb Sucking Habit

Thumb sucking may be adorable, but is it harmful to a child’s oral health?

It’s safe—but only to a point. That point arises when permanent teeth begin to come in. Thumb sucking then may cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of teeth. Children generally stop this very common habit on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. But sometimes they continue the practice into the danger zone.

When a child continues to suck his or her thumb and it becomes a threat to mouth health, what can parents do to correct the behaviour? Here are some suggestions from the American Dental Association:

  • praise your child for not sucking;
  • children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child;
  • for an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping;
  • your dentist can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.

For more information on thumb sucking, including how pacifiers can have similar harmful effects after a certain point, visit the American Dental Association consumer website MouthHealthy.org.

We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family. Our dentists can help everyone in your family understand the importance of proper oral hygiene over time and the positive effects it has on your health. At Family Care Dental Clinic, we treat our clients to a soothing environment where they can receive quality dental care no matter what their needs are. Call (604) 987-3545 or please visit our appointment page to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team.

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