Highland Park (847) 432-1111 2685 Waukegan Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
Mundelein (847) 566-5100 444 N Prospect Ave, Mundelein, IL 60060

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All About Thumb Sucking

As a family dentist in Mundelein, we know some things are inevitable when it comes to children and their oral care. Many parents witness their children sucking a thumb and don’t know what to do about it, even though it can be the culprit of dental issues later on. How can thumb sucking hurt a child’s oral health and what can we do to stop it? Read more to find out.

 

Thumb Sucking Begins

Many children begin sucking their thumbs before they turn two, as a common way to self-soothe or help them fall asleep. However, if they continue to suck their thumb long after their baby teeth fall out and the permanent ones begin to grow in, it can cause problems with tooth alignment and mouth development.

 

Stop Thumb Sucking Early

Because thumb sucking is a habit, your child has to learn to break the habit, and through these ADA tips, it’s possible. Some possible ways to break the habit are to:

  • Catch them when they aren’t sucking their thumbs. If your child is not sucking his or her thumb, praise them! This is an easier and more effective tactic than punishing them when the are sucking their thumb.
  • Provide calmness and comfort. As mentioned above, sucking a thumb could be a way to calm the nerves. Instead, figure out why your child is anxious in the first place that could lead to thumb-sucking, and then address the issues, figuring out ways to avoid the anxiety.
  • Ask the dentist for advice. If you aren’t sure how to avoid thumb-sucking, ask your dentist for their tips on how to break the habit.

 

North Suburban Dental is a family dentist in Mundelein that knows breaking habits can be difficult. Reach out today to discuss why your child is sucking their thumb and how we can prevent this from becoming common past the age of four.

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