Consequences Of Children Sucking Their Thumb

young boy leaning on a bed sucking his thumb

Thumb sucking is a common way for children to calm themselves and bring themselves comfort. But if your child is sucking their thumb frequently past the age of four, this innocent habit can wreak havoc on your child’s oral health. Below are some of the consequences your child can face if they continue to suck their thumb:

1. Overbites

Overbites occur when the top teeth cover the bottom teeth instead of being properly aligned with them. Overbites don’t just alter your smile, but they can also change the shape of your face. When overbites get to a certain state, they require extensive orthodontic treatment, be it through braces or another orthodontic appliance, to correct.

2. Skin Issues

Thumb sucking can cause the skin on the thumb to become calloused and even cause it to bleed or crack. It can also cause the thumb nail to warp and peel. To prevent thumb sucking and the skin on the thumb from being affected, it’s best to wrap the thumb in a bandage or glove.

3. Open Bite

An open bite, also known as dental malocclusion, is when the top and bottom front teeth grow directed outward. If your child has an open bite, their front teeth do not touch even when their mouth is completely closed.

4. Speech Problems

Thumb sucking impacts the development of the teeth, palate, and jaw, which can impact the way that your child speaks. For example, they might have an issue pronouncing a “D” and “T” sounds. Speech issues cannot be resolved with speech therapy — proper orthodontic care is the best solution to mitigate speech problems caused by thumb sucking.

Children’s Dentistry in Louisville, Kentucky

At Springhurst Hills Family Dentistry, we offer affordable kids dentistry to ensure your little ones’ smiles are healthy and well taken care of. Our gentle, experienced staff can help instill healthy oral healthcare habits for your child.

If your child has issues with thumb sucking, we’d love to offer up any help and encouragement we can to help them find an alternative calming mechanism that won’t impact their oral health. Give us a call at 502-365-9699 or schedule an appointment online to get started.

We look forward to seeing you!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Lan Tran, Springhurst Hills Dentistry

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Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd, Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 365-9699

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