Kidsmile Pediatric Dental Clinic | Pediatric Dental Clinic in the Philippines | Dental Clinic for Kids

Important Things to Know About Thumb Sucking

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Thumb sucking involves setting thumb or fingers into the mouth. It is one of the most natural behaviors of kids as early as inside the womb of their mothers. When a baby is born, you will recognize that thumb sucking is a natural reflex of a baby. As the baby experience the health-giving feeding, they learn the habit of placing their fingers or anything they grab inside their mouth. Although it’s adoring to watch babies perform that manner when they are sleeping or playing, however, this may bring a negative effect that may damage their dental development and growth. As early as a newborn baby, this habit may lead to an early addiction.

Why is thumb-sucking addictive your child?

Developing a habit of thumb sucking is just similar to other addictions such as smoking, drinking, or taking drugs. Once, it has become the nature of a child. It would be hard for them to give up, and it can be immensely struggling for them to kick off the habit. For a better understanding of this behavior, here are the reasons why it is addictive:

  • It is a pleasurable experience
  • It gives them comfort
  • They feel warmth and secure
  • It is self-soothing
  • It has an oral sensation
  • It entertains them when they are bored
  • It has a similar feeling with being breastfed or bottle
  • It makes them sleep

All those reasons make most of the parents think that it is beneficial and good for your child. As your dental partner, our answer to it is NO. As they grow, this manner may lead to health or severe dental problems. This habit of thumb sucking is a type of dental malocclusion, another term that describes a misalignment of teeth.

What are the effects?

  • Alignment of teeth can be a ruin, such as being an open bite or overbite then be repaired soon that will cost much
  • Middle ear infections that may lead to surgery due to intensive sucking
  • Serious skin Problems can manifest that can cause to lose the moisture of the mouth to lead to bleeding or cracked skin and turn to infection.
  • Speech problems may arise.
  • A possibility of exposure to bacteria and infection that may
  • It can also affect jaw bone alignment.
  • It can convey specific social issues as they grow up.

As a parent, it is always the best to be knowledgeable about preventing and safeguarding your child’s developmental process as they grow. Effects of thumb sucking are damaging to their dental health, although some at the age of 2 to 4 years old stops sucking naturally and did not experience any adverse effects until the eruption of teeth. However, when a child is still in a habit at the age of 6 to 8 years old, this may lead to complications, and you would not want your child to suffer as they grow. As we always say, prevention is still better than cure.

What are the helpful ways to stop thumb sucking?

  • Encourage them with positivity
  • Divert your child’s attention to other comforting methods
  • Immediately provide them with toys that would comfort them when they have anxiety
  • Avoid stress that may lead to suck their fingers more
  • Educate them that thumb sucking has serious effects
  • Be creative in rewarding them by eliminating this habit
  • Praise them with good words when doing a great job of not thumb sucking
  • Do not punish them and be patient
  • Cover their hands with a garment so they can’t get to their fingers
  • Pacifier is a great way to shift

In the growing stage of your child, this habit can be one of the most difficult and challenging parts of their childhood. Thus, being aware and knowledgeable is fundamental for your child’s overall health.

We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health as they grow.

You can message us here or via our social media accounts for an initial consultation or in booking your appointment.


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