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Although it may seem natural for children to want to suck their thumbs, the truth is that it can seriously alter and damage their oral health and should be discouraged when signs of the bad habit begin to appear. If thumb sucking continues, help assist your child to quit.

If your child sucks their thumb, offer up praise whenever they stop or quit the habit. Because thumb-sucking is often used as a defense mechanism, help build your child’s self-confidence whenever you can. Even though people may think that pacifiers should be used as alternatives to thumb-sucking, pacifiers routinely lead to many of the same oral health issues. Another method that has been proven effective involved a visit to your child’s pediatrician, who can apply sour and bitter substances to your child’s thumbs to discourage them from sucking.

Thumb-sucking in your children starts at a very early age but becomes increasingly dangerous as their front teeth begin to grow in. This usually occurs when they are around 4 years old. Not only can sucking their thumbs cause their teeth to move and slide out alignment, but it can also hinder the growth of teeth, and lead to tooth decay and infections produced by new bacteria constantly being introduced to their mouth.

If you notice signs of thumb sucking, fortunately, it can be treated. Artistic Dentistry remains committed to your oral health, and you are welcome to book an appointment with us by calling 949-366-1177. Stop by our dentist office in San Clemente, California, and Dr. Amir Nikraz and our team will give your child the treatment they need.