How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Teeth?

August 21, 2018

What Is Thumb Sucking?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for infants and children. Sucking on thumbs, pacifiers, or other objects may create a feeling of security or soothe them to help with falling asleep. Thumb sucking is a stereotypical habit of babies, so it may feel unnatural to intervene. However, a White Plains orthodontist understands that breaking the habit of thumb sucking is important to avoid causing developmental issues in the mouth.

How Can Thumb Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Once a child’s permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking may affect the proper alignment of the growth of teeth and jaw. The intensity of thumb sucking is a factor that determines the level of damage. Some children who are aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby teeth early on.
The force of thumb sucking can cause teeth to tip forward, which leads to complicated malocclusions such as open bites, crossbites, or overjets.

What Are The Consequences Of Thumb Sucking?

Similar to pacifiers, thumb sucking can help very young children develop jaw muscles. However, after that, it quickly becomes an issue. Thumb sucking is a habit that may cause a child to withdraw and ‘zone out’ instead of interacting. While thumb sucking may appear like an innocent habit, the results can affect your child’s health later on in their adult life. The long-term negative consequences of thumb sucking include:

  • Narrowing of the jaw
  • Shrinking the airway
  • Altered breathing
  • Poor swallow patterns
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Hindered speech
  • Abnormal tongue placement

When Should Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?

how does thumb sucking affect teeth white plains nyChildren usually stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time their permanent front teeth start to erupt. If you notice abnormalities in your child’s primary teeth or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking, consult with a White Plains orthodontist such as Dr. Sokoloff. Remember, the older a child gets the more difficult breaking this habit can be.

Finding Out How Thumb Sucking Affects Teeth In White Plains NY

Dr. Sokoloff and our team at Sokoloff Orthodontics are experts in orthodontic treatment. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding thumb sucking or how thumb sucking affects teeth in White Plains NY, Scarsdale NY, Hartsdale NY, Fairview NY, and Westchester County NY. Contact Sokoloff Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation today. Call now (914) 949-0068.

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Please Contact Us With Any Questions 914-949-0068

Michael Sokoloff Orthodontics

Michael Sokoloff, DDS, LLC

www.DocSokOrtho.com

20 Old Mamaroneck Rd, Suite C
White Plains, New York 10605

Email: securemail@docsokortho.com
Phone: 914-949-0068
Fax: 914-761-7047

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