How to Get Thumb-Sucking Help from Pediatric Dentist in Markham

Thumb-sucking can be a distressing problem for parents of small children. Although they might not know exactly why, parents understand that when thumb-sucking goes on too long, something is not quite right. They sometimes become anxious over their child’s thumb-sucking habit and may punish them severely for it. Yet, punishment can cause more problems than it cures. So, what is a parent supposed to do? The answer is that you can get thumb-sucking help from your local Markham ON dentist.

Know the Facts

Right now, before you seek help from a pediatric dentist in Markham, you can relieve some of your anxiety by understanding how common thumb-sucking is and why young children do it. Here are some of the basic facts about this habit:

  • 75% to 95% of infants suck their thumbs.
  • Unborn babies often suck their thumbs in the womb.
  • Most children quit sucking their thumbs on their own by age 4.
  • Mild thumb-sucking before the permanent teeth come in is usually harmless.
  • Sucking is a natural, inborn reflex.
  • Babies and young children suck for comfort, stress reduction and self-soothing.
  • Thumb-sucking after the permanent teeth come in can be extremely destructive to your child’s oral health.

Get Thumb-Sucking Help from from your pediatric dentist in Markham

Not all dentists get it. Dentists may learn about thumb-sucking in dental school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they agree with what they learned. They may have had unpleasant childhood memories surrounding thumb-sucking. They may be frustrated if they have an unusual number of pediatric patients whose thumb-sucking habit has caused them major dental problems. Or, they might simply find the subject distasteful.

Your job here is to find a dentist who understands and actually can help your child quit thumb-sucking at the appropriate time. Talk to friends and family members or ask your pediatrician for a referral. Talk to the dentist and gauge their reaction to the subject. When you find a pediatric dentist who seems both knowledgeable and understanding, make an appointment for a consultation.

You’re In Charge of What Happens at Home

The dentist can give you good advice on how to end your child’s thumb-sucking, but it is you who’ll put the plan into action. Use the following tips to help your child make a smooth transition.

  • Speak to your child calmly about their thumb-sucking.
  • Explain why thumb-sucking needs to stop.
  • Include your child in the process; make them responsible to do their part.
  • Use physical cues such as bandages on fingers to remind them not to suck.
  • Relieve as much of your child’s stress and anxiety as possible.
  • Don’t punish for thumb-sucking or speak harshly to your child about it.
  • Reward your child when they don’t suck their thumb.
  • Consult with your child’s dentist if you have questions or if progress seems to have stalled.

Request Evaluation of Your Child’s Dental Health

As long as your child continues to suck their thumb, you need the dentist to keep up with any changes in their dental condition. Let the dentist know that you are concerned. Ask for an evaluation of risk for babies or an examination to assess damage if they are older. You can help your child quit their thumb-sucking habit. And, the right dentist can help you do it!