The Dangers of Thumbsucking In Markham For Your Child

Thumbsucking in Markham is a common habit that many children develop. It can be very hard to break the habit but it is important for your child’s health and overall well-being. Parents have mixed opinions about thumbsucking. Some think it is just a phase while others see it as something their pediatric dentist needs to address immediately. 

Why do children suck their thumb?

It is a common sight to see a toddler sucking their thumb, but what is the reason behind these habits? 

  • The act of sucking their thumbs is comforting and calming.
  • It can make them feel safe most especially when put in stressful situations.
  • It can ease their boredom.
  • It is their way to adjust to the challenges in preschool.

Whatever the case may be, there are benefits for this behaviour as well as some disadvantages. 

When does thumb-sucking become dangerous?

When to stop thumbsucking is a common question among parents. In most cases, children suck their thumbs from age 6-7 months or between ages 2 and 4. In addition, children may stop this behaviour naturally. Unfortunately, when they are stressed or feel unsafe, they can do this behaviour again. When thumbsucking becomes excessive, your child may experience the following side effects:

  • Overbite 

 teeth become misaligned and directed outward.

  • Skin problems 

the skin on the child’s thumb becomes calloused.

  • Speech problems 

the development of teeth and jaw are affected which affects a child’s speaking ability.

  • Open bite 

top and bottom teeth are outward. The front teeth do not touch each other even if the mouth is closed. 

How can you help your child?

Most children will suck their thumb at some point in their lives. While it may seem like a harmless habit, it can cause problems for kids later on. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to help their child break the habit. Here are tips to get started.

1. Provide gentle reminders.

Do not scold or criticize your child. It is best to gently remind them to stop sucking their thumbs. 

2. Determine the triggers.

Identify the reasons why they are thumb sucking. If they need comfort, you should provide them with reassuring words. Moreover, you may also give stuffed toys for them to hug. 

3. Offer positive reinforcement.

You can use a rewards system for your child when they are not thumbing sucking. Furthermore, praising them for a job well done will also help break the habit. 

How your dentist can help your child?

Sucking one’s thumb is a habit that is often picked up during childhood and can continue into adulthood. The dentist is the best person to help you break your child’s habit and avoid any long-term damage. Here are some examples of thumbsucking treatments.

  • A mouthguard or special material for the thumb may be used.
  • Your dentist can provide treatment for any dental problems as a result of thumbsucking.
  • A talk with a dentist is much more effective since they provide proper information on oral care and dental habits. 

Conclusion

If you have a child who sucks their thumb, it is time to schedule a visit with your Markham dentist.  They would be happy to answer any questions and help you find solutions for this issue that are suitable for your child.