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Why is thumb sucking bad for young children? Thumb sucking in infants can cause an assortment of issues and problems with the oral health of a child. Not only can it destabilize the alignment of the teeth in their mouths, it can also cause changes with their gums and the roof of their mouths.

Listed below are some of the common risks often associated with thumb sucking:

– Pacifiers are often considered an alternative to thumb sucking, but it can affect the teeth and gums in nearly the same ways, although it does tend to be an easier routine to break in children.

– A child should normally wean themselves off sucking their thumbs around the time their permanent front teeth begin to grow in, which is around 4 years of age.

– Shower your child with praise and help cultivate their confidence when they do not suck their thumbs, as thumb sucking is often done when they are feeling insecure or need it as a “security blanket.”

– Thumb sucking can result in tooth decay or infections by introducing new bacteria into a child’s mouth.

– Additional treatment schemes for thumb sucking include having the child’s pediatrician prescribe medication used to coat the child’s finger in a bitter and foul-tasting substance.

– Thumb sucking can hamper the growth of teeth.

For any additional questions or concerns, Dr. Paul Lee is here to help you with all your oral health needs. For a complete diagnosis from Dr. Paul Lee and our team at our pediatric office in Fairfax, Virginia, you can schedule an appointment by calling us at 703-352-9600. We look forward to having your child as our guest soon.