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What problems can excessive thumb sucking cause?

Thumb sucking can have a negative effect on your child's oral health if it persists past a certain age. Our Burnaby dentists list the specific issues this habit can cause.

When does thumb sucking become an issue?

Children suck their teething toys, pacifiers, and later, their fingers or thumbs to calm themselves from the time they are babies. 

This go-to activity helps them regulate their emotions. However, thumb sucking can, unfortunately, cause negative impacts on oral health long past kindergarten age if the habit continues past age 4. 

What specific dental issues can thumb sucking cause. 

Excessive, prolonged thumb sucking can cause a few potential side effects, including:

1. Open Bite 

When the upper teeth don't overlap the bottom teeth when the back teeth are together, this is known as an open bite. The condition can occur as a result of the thumb or finger creating an opening between the top and bottom front teeth, preventing them from meeting.

2. Overbite 

Another potential consequence of thumb sucking is that the teeth are pushed outward in an overbite. These types of issues can cause challenges with jaw placement, poor chewing and perhaps lead to orthodontic issues as your child develops.

3. Speech Impediment 

Since the tongue tip needs to come into contact with the front teeth to make some speech sounds, tooth formation is integral when it comes to speech development. If these teeth are misaligned, others will have a harder time understanding what your child is saying. 

Prolonged thumb sucking can cause the teeth to become misaligned and the tongue to rest and move incorrectly, leading to tongue thrust. 

How can my dentist at SmileTown Langley help with thumb sucking?

Our dentists at Smile Town Dentistry in Langley can help you address your child's thumb sucking as part of our wide range of general dentistry services

Thumb sucking appliances can help break the thumb sucking habit. This type of appliance is cemented behind your child's front teeth. It's not at all uncomfortable or painful. However, it's designed to make thumb sucking less enjoyable, which helps discourage the habit. 

Looking for help with thumb sucking? Contact our dentists at SmileTown Burnaby today

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