• By Innovative Dental

Stopping Thumb Sucking

Cosmetic Dentist of San Ramon Saves Your Kids Teeth

Even in infancy, children find ways to deal with their stress that can impact their health. And we know what you are thinking, and yes: even children have stress. Just like adults, children know how to internalize stress and even find subconscious ways to help it work it out. One of the most frequent ways this is accomplished is by children sucking their thumbs. Even at night while asleep, children can be pacifying themselves and reducing their stress levels by engaging in this habit.

And although it may be adorable to watch your child do this while sleeping, your cosmetic dentist in San Ramon is here to help explain why it is detrimental, and how you may go about stopping it.

Depending on how frequently and with what intensity your child sucks their thumb, the structure and alignment of the mouth can be altered accordingly. It is at this younger age that the tissues of the mouth are more impressionable, and can be altered negatively with such persistent behavior. The teeth can be pushed outwards, causing "buck teeth," and the soft pallet at the roof of the mouth can be misshapen. Both of these problems can require in-depth dental work at a later age, including braces and other forms of treatment. Although these therapies may fix the problem, prevention early on is a healthier and more cost-efficient option.

Parents never really love telling their children "no," but when it is good for them, it must be done. You can curb your little ones thumb sucking by placing mittens or socks on their hands while sleeping. This obviously takes away their ability to access their fingers subconsciously and works great the physical regard. For the more "psychological" approach, if of age, try just talking to your child like a "big kid." Let them know what adults do or don't do in comparison, and what the benefits are for them. Helping them feel grown up and on the same level as you and other "big kids" has worked for many parents. Bribery, ultimately, is not found to be effective and is advised against.

There are also dental devices that can be placed inside of the child's mouth that make it painful to suck on the thumb, but these forms of treatment are usually considered to be more at the "extreme" end of the scale.

While preventing your child from sucking their thumb at a young age may not guarantee they never need dental work from their cosmetic dentist in San Ramon, it is better to take action now then regret it later on.

To make an appointment in our San Ramon dental office, please call (925) 804-6440 today.

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