Thumb sucking among children has been viewed as a normal habit during their formative years. They do this as a replacement for their feeding bottles whenever it is not available. However, research shows that there is a distinct connection between earlier thumb sucking and the installation of braces during adult life. This is because it has been found out that thumb sucking truly damages the teeth in such a way that the person who usually thumb sucks often end up with major dental problems in the future that will require braces.

  1. Some major diseases that thumb sucking would cause is having irregularly shaped teeth. This is because thumb sucking tends to stunt the proper growth of the teeth so much, so that it produces rather small or unusually big teeth.
  2. The problems can also be caused by thumb sucking. This is because the process of thumb sucking tends to weaken the hold of the gums to the teeth because of minor but continuous pressure on the teeth.
  3. Buck teeth can also be a problem for thumb suckers in the future. Teeth that are pushed far behind the other set of teeth characterize this. This may cause irregularity in the alignment of teeth. If a person experiences this, braces will be the best solution for him or her.

Hence, if you want to prevent this from happening to your child, it is best to prevent him or her from sucking teeth. Although this is a normal reflex, it would be best if you do everything in your power to prevent your child from doing this kind of activity.

This is easier said than done. Thumb sucking is truly a pleasurable experience that children may not be ready to part with just yet. However, if you do this following tips, you might be able to wean them off the unsightly act of thumb sucking.

  1. The first tip would be having positive reinforcement given to the child. The process of a reward and punishment is very effective in instilling the value of good behavior on to the child. You can give him a prize for every time that he or she does not suck his or her thumb.
  2. If this does not work, you can try showing him the ill effects of thumb sucking on people. As a parent you can show your child pictures of damaged dental conditions that may persuade the child to let go of the habit all together.
  3. In addition to this, you can place protective implements on the child’s hands to prevent him or her from sucking his fingers. You can make him put on gloves so that he would not be tempted to do the activity even without your supervision.
  4. If this still does not work, you can put foul tasting condiments on the fingers so that the child would be forced not to sell his or her thumb. If he finds the activity detestable, the child himself will shun away from the act.
  5. Lastly, if all else fails you should never hesitate consulting pediatric dentists for advice. Medical professionals will surely be glad to help in any way that they can especially when it comes to the health of the family.

Thumb sucking is just one probable cause of people wearing braces. Given this, you should not dismiss the probability that this could be a possible cause for your children’s future dental problems. Again, it is best to consult your pediatric dentist for you to know how to deal with this kind of activity from your children. Working hand in hand with your dentist will make it easier to handle your children’s teeth problems.

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