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How Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers Affect Dental Health

Posted on 12/1/2023 by Weo Admin
Little blonde boy sucking on his thumbPacifiers are used as natural and comforting soothers for young children. Thumb-sucking behavior is also a way that provides a sense of security and comfort. Both pacifiers and thumb-sucking help to lull the child to sleep. However, these habits can affect the dental health of your child, and as a parent, you should be concerned about it. Therefore, you should know the potential impacts of these behaviors and how you will need to address them.

The Impact of Thumb Sucking on Dental Health

Thumb sucking is a common habit for children. Most of them stop the habit at around 2 to 4 years of age. It is initially harmless, but if it is continued past the age of 4, it can have a lasting effect on the child. It affects dental health and oral structure since the pressure of the thumb on the mouth roof and the teeth can result in changes in palate shape and misaligned teeth.

Thumb sucking might result in the development of open bites, which is when the front teeth do not meet when the mouth is closed. This makes it difficult for the mouth to close and also when it comes to chewing ability. This condition occurs due to continuous thumb sucking and can lead to difficulties in speech and maintaining proper oral hygiene. In some cases, the dentist might recommend orthodontic treatments to correct the deformations.

The Impact of Pacifiers on Oral Health

Similarly, pacifiers can cause issues with teeth alignment, dental health, and oral structure. Pacifiers are designed to provide comfort and soothe the child. However, prolonged use can lead to similar effects as thumb sucking. It can lead to open bites and overbites and can change the shape of the palate. Just like thumb sucking, these bite problems call for orthodontic treatments down the road. Call our office today and book an appointment!

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