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Addressing thumb sucking with a pediatric dentist

The Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics team works with parents of children in the Marietta and Canton, Georgia areas to help them understand the impact certain habits can have on their oral health and wellness. This includes finger sucking and thumb sucking. Dental treatment may have to be performed in the future if children continue to suck their fingers, thumbs, or pacifier past their first birthday.

How does thumb sucking impact my child’s oral health?

Thumb sucking at any age can impact a child’s smile in the future. That is because the teeth that grow in may do so in a way to accommodate the thumb or fingers the child is using. It is best to keep children from sucking their thumb or using a pacifier whenever possible to avoid future issues in their dental health.

How can I keep my child from sucking their thumb?

There is no one answer to this question since each child is different and will respond to different approaches. However, some tips that may be helpful include:

  • Encouraging your child to do other activities with their hands, such as playing with toys or drawing.
  • Praising your child when they are not sucking their thumb.
  • Helping them to understand why sucking their thumb is not a good habit.
  • Make sure they have a positive outlet for any anxiety or stress they may feel. This could involve providing them with comfort objects, such as a stuffed animal, or teaching them relaxation techniques.
  • If your child is older, you might try using bitter-tasting nail polish on their thumbnail.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to be patient and understanding with your child as they try to break this habit. By addressing finger-sucking and thumb-sucking habits, you can reduce the risk of damage or changes to your child’s smile over time.

How do I learn more about how thumb sucking impacts oral health?

Our team at Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in Canton and Marietta, GA, are here to help parents navigate milestones in their child’s oral health and wellness. If you are struggling with your child’s thumb-sucking habit and need more assistance finding ways to stop it, now is a great time to connect with our team. We have two office locations and can be reached at (770) 800-8986 to request an appointment at either practice.