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17 Oct
thumb sucking effects

Effects of Thumb sucking And Pacifiers

Thumb Sucking : Babies and children frequently suck on their thumbs, fingers, or a pacifier. This is a common practice because it provides comfort to children and babies and is a natural reflex for them. They will suck their thumbs when they are hungry, restless, scared, or tired as they grow older. Children usually wean themselves around the age of three, but if the sucking continues past the age of five, it could be a sign of an emotional disorder or problem. Thumb sucking can harm their teeth and mouths if done for an extended period of time.

What Are the Consequences of Thumb Sucking?

  • Major issues can arise if children are allowed to suck on pacifiers, thumbs, or fingers after their teeth have begun to develop. Sucking on one’s thumbs, whether aggressively or not, can damage tooth alignment and necessitate costly dental work in the future.
  • Excessive pacifier sucking after teeth have grown in can result in numerous middle-ear infections, which sometimes necessitate surgery to correct.
  • If your child develops a speech problem, dental problems, or even a callus (Thickened and hardened part of the skin) on their thumb, it is likely that it is time to consider assisting your child in breaking either of these habits.

Long-term consequences of thumb sucking after the age of 5-6 years include:

  • Teeth being pushed around, possibly resulting in an overbite or underbite.
  • A lisp is formed as a result of constant thumb sucking, which can affect jaw bone positioning.
  • Germs from your thumb and surrounding areas are having an effect on your body.
  • The roof of the mouth changes and becomes more sensitive.

Here are some pointers to help you stop your child from thumb sucking:

  • Don’t nag or punish your child for sucking their thumbs because it will cause stress and encourage them to suck their thumbs even more.
  • You can also try implementing a rewards chart so that your child can see their progress visually. A positive attitude can help your child feel more confident in themselves and speed up the healing process. It is important to praise their success rather than scold their failure.
  • Teach your child the reasons why they are not allowed to continue.
  • Explain to them what the long-term consequences of such a habit might be.
  • Remove sources of stress that may be causing your child to suck their thumbs.
  • Distract your child with a toy or a song when they suck their thumb.
  • Another method for getting children to stop sucking their thumbs is to cover their hands with socks while they are sleeping, and using a tape that helps to keep the socks in place throughout the night, making it impossible for them to reach their thumbs.
  • Other methods for getting your child to stop using a pacifier involve removing the pleasure of sucking on it by cutting it shorter.
  • It’s also important to remember that when older children suck their thumbs, it’s usually because they’re feeling insecure, uncomfortable, or anxious — you can help them stop by listening to their emotional needs and providing comfort, love, and support. When they are emotionally healthy and stable, they can stop symptomatic and reactive thumb-sucking and avoid dental damage.
  • If none of these options work for your child, you can consult with your dentist about prescribing a bitter-tasting medication.

Thumb sucking and the use of pacifiers are not inherently bad things for your children, but they can cause unfortunate dental problems if not stopped at the appropriate time. Use these helpful hints to assist your child before their teeth become impacted.