myORTHODONTIST offers habit-breaking services for children experiencing tongue thrusts or thumb sucking.
Like many parents, you may be concerned about your child’s thumb sucking, finger sucking or pacifier use. You may wonder if it is harmful, at what age it should stop or what could happen if your child does not stop.
Thumb sucking seems like an innocent habit. Infants and young children find it soothing to suck on a thumb, finger or pacifiers. It is quite normal and many children stop sucking their thumb or fingers between the age of two and five years.
However, there are some children who will continue this habit until later years of life, causing not-so-pleasant dental problems and their self-esteem may be greatly affected. These Dental Problems Include:
Laurie Smith RDH offers a 4-week program that will help your patients to keep the thumbs where they should be – away from the mouth!
A tongue thrust is when a person swallows incorrectly, the tip and/or sides of the tongue press against or spread between the teeth.
Constant pressure from resting or incorrectly thrusting the tongue away from the hard palate may push teeth out of place.
That pressure may later prevent teeth from erupting (breaking through the gum).
Correct swallowing depends on a proper relationship between muscles of the face, tongue and throat.
Pacifiers can affect the teeth the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. Pacifier use is often an easier habit to break.
It is not recommended that children use pacifiers or hard -lidded ‘sippy’ cups after age 2.
Babies suckle at birth and slowly advance to more mature swallow patterns. Sippy cups should be introduced at 6-8 months to assist development.
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