Working With A Great Dentist
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Working With A Great Dentist

I have always been one of those people who loves to get out into the world and talk with other people, but a few years ago, I realized that I had to do something about my smile. My teeth were yellow and unattractive, and it was really discouraging to see how much different my smile was. I knew that I needed to get my teeth fixed, so I started working with a professional dentist to make things right. Within a few short months, my smile was completely transformed, and I knew that I owed it all to my dental professional. Check out this blog for more information about working with a dentist.


Working With A Great Dentist

The Risks Of Thumb Sucking And How To Help Your Child Ditch The Habit

Harper Hughes

When a child sucks their thumb as a way to self-soothe, it's difficult to stop them. After all, when the child is happy, the mom and dad are even happier. However, thumb sucking doesn't come without risks. Make sure you know what comes along with this habit and how to curb this behavior. 


A child that sucks his or her thumb is at an increased risk of developing an overbite. With an overbite, instead of remaining straight, the upper row of front teeth protrudes outward. As a result, when the child closes their mouth, their upper teeth rest slightly in front of the lower teeth, which gives them a misaligned bite. 

In the case of a severe overbite, the protruding teeth can also cause the upper lip area to rest slightly forward, which can affect the appearance of their face. In these cases, orthodontic treatment is generally the only way to correct the misalignment. 

Open Bite

In some cases, the protruding that occurs on the upper front teeth with an overbite also becomes an issue for the lower front teeth. When both the lower and upper teeth protrude outward, this condition is known as an open bite. With an open bite, the front teeth never connect, even when the mouth is closed. 

Not only does this issue affect the appearance of the child, but it can also affect the child's ability to pronounce words. In terms of long-term dental concerns, with an open bite, the upper and lower rear teeth tend to meet more often, which can lead to grinding and discomfort.  

Help Your Child Stop

If your child is a toddler or younger, don't try to correct your child's behavior by offering him or her a pacifier. A pacifier can cause many of the same problems, so it's best to avoid any sucking aids. If you notice your child sucks their thumb when they're upset, try to console or comfort your child during these periods so that they are less likely to suck their thumb. 

For a slightly older child, you can speak to him or her about the risks of thumb sucking and find ways to reward the child when they don't engage in this behavior, such as by giving an extra 10 minutes outside for playtime. You might even ask their dentist to speak with the child about these risks during their visit. 

Do you have concerns about your child's thumb sucking? A pediatric dentist can help.