Fighting Dental Disease: Learn More About It Here

Fighting Dental Disease: Learn More About It Here

How to Stop Thumb-Sucking from Damaging Your Child's Teeth

by Gregory Price

You may notice that your child likes to suck their thumb. This is perfectly normal and is a way that your child comforts themselves. However, thumb-sucking while comforting can cause your child's teeth to grow out of shape. This usually means that orthodontic care may be necessary in the future. In order to avoid this, here are a few things you can do.

Give Praise, Not Punishment

If you have told your child not to suck their thumb repeatedly and they are still doing it, you may become frustrated. However, you should try to avoid this. Instead of focusing on those times when your child is sucking their thumb, try to become more aware of the times when they aren't and give them praise.

Use Props

You can use a few items to prevent your child from sucking their thumb at night. Try taping a Band-Aid to the thumb or putting a sock over the thumb at night. Explain to your child why you are doing this and let them know the consequences of sucking the thumb while their teeth are developing. You need to explain that sucking the thumb will affect the shape of face and teeth and may cause them to need braces in the future. You can even show them pictures. This is not to scare your child, but to show them the real consequences of thumb-sucking.

Reward Your Child

Create a reward chart and put it on the wall. Whenever your child goes a whole day without sucking their thumb, give them a star for the day. Once they complete a whole week without sucking their thumb, you can give them a prize as a reward. Give them a small prize every week, and once they get to a month, you can give them a grand prize.

Observe Closely

Often, children will suck their thumbs when they are anxious or when they go on long trips. If you notice that your child fits this profile, try to soothe their anxiety by talking to them or giving them something to comfort them, such as a teddy bear or a favorite blanket. On long car rides, bring along a tablet for your child to watch their favorite shows or their favorite toys to distract them from thumb-sucking.

Getting your child to stop sucking their thumb is something that you must accomplish in order to protect their dental health. Use one or a combination of the strategies given to ensure that your child stops sucking their thumb quickly. Contact a dental service near you for more advice.


About Me

Fighting Dental Disease: Learn More About It Here

Up until a year ago, I did my best to keep my teeth and gums clean. But after securing a new job, I began to work late into the night and didn't have the time or energy to brush and floss before I retired to bed. My busy schedule and poor dental hygiene finally affected my teeth and gums. After experiencing severe pain in several of my teeth, I made an appointment with my dentist. My dentist examined my mouth and discovered three large cavities in my molars. After four long weeks, my dentist finally completed my dental work. I learned a very painful lesson during that time. No matter how busy you are, always brush and floss. I started this blog to inform other people about the importance of good dental care. I hope you find the time to read it. Thanks for visiting.