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Charlotte Pediatric Dentist Shares Why Thumb Sucking Is Harmful for Infants & Toddlers

A parent may try to find a pediatric dentist near me to help break a child of their habit of sucking their thumb. A dentist for kids understands sucking a thumb or pacifier is normal for infants. Problems can begin to appear when an infant continues to suck their thumb or pacifier after the age of three, with bite problems possible at this point.

Why Do Children Prefer Thumb Sucking?

Babies begin to suck their thumb and fingers in the womb because sucking is a natural reaction in early life. Our Charlotte pediatric dentist explains the sucking action is a normal one on a hungry child and can be comforting when feeling stressed. It is normal for a baby to suck a thumb in the first year of life.

Issues Caused When Thumb Sucking Isn’t Stopped

Our dentist for kids understands thumb sucking is normal, but they are concerned when the practice continues. The main concern is for the thumb sucking producing pressure on the front teeth, which leads to bite problems. Dentists face the issue of an open bite when a patient has been sucking their thumb for many years. A patient with a traditional bite will see their top set of teeth slightly overlap their bottom teeth when closing their mouth. An open bite allows a gap to develop between the upper and lower front teeth.

What To Do With Your Child Who is a Thumb Sucker

When you find a pediatric dentist near me to help with the problems caused by thumb sucking, they will recommend ending the practice as soon as possible. Parents are encouraged to praise a child when they do not suck their thumb and reward a child when they handle stressful situations without using their pacifier.

If you are concerned about the problems caused by thumb sucking call our Charlotte pediatric dentist to book your appointment today.