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Can Thumb-Sucking Affect Your Child's Teeth?

Posted on 8/22/2022 by Evan
Can Thumb-Sucking Affect Your Child's Teeth?Toddlers have sucking reflexes which make them put their thumbs into their mouth and suck. This habit helps the babies to deal with difficult situations such as stress. It also offers them comfort and security. However, thumb sucking can trigger dental issues, especially if the baby is an active thumb sucker. Learn how thumb-sucking can damage your baby's teeth.

Malocclusion Issues

Malocclusion is a dental issue that many thumb suckers face. It occurs due to prolonged thumb sucking. Many children with this condition experience an open bite. Open bite occurs when the upper and lower teeth do not align, even when the baby's mouth is closed.

Overbite is another issue that results from excessive thumb sucking. When your baby has an overbite, the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth. This creates problems with how your baby's teeth function. Biting and chewing food can become a challenge.

Impact on the Facial and Jaw Development

As your baby grows, you will notice changes in their face and jaws. However, for a constant thumb sucker, the complex facial development can be affected. When the baby sucks the thumb, they apply pressure on the teeth, making them shift in the wrong direction. This affects the child's jaws and overall facial structures.

Impaired Speech Development

Thumb sucking can also affect your baby's speech. This results from open or overbite, which occurs due to prolonged thumb sucking. When your child gets into sucking their thumb, the tongue will tend to push forward, making it challenging to pronounce certain words. Besides, excessive thumb-sucking can make children miss the opportunity to practice language skills. In this case, seeking professional care is vital as soon as you notice that your baby is sucking their thumb.

Our dentists may prescribe medication to coat the baby's thumb to discourage them from sucking. This is vital since you will prevent misalignment that may require orthodontic treatment later in life.

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