Posted .

Author: Dr. Tontra Lowe

Does your child suck their thumb? This is a common condition, as most children display this habit. Although it is not necessarily a bad habit, it is one that needs to be discouraged because it can lead to oral health damage and contamination. As an alternative, pacifiers can be used. However, they also contribute to poor oral health associated with their ability to hinder the growth of teeth.

One of the biggest risks associated with thumb sucking is bacteria. This is because bacteria from a child’s thumb can end up in their mouth and lead to an increased risk for infections and tooth decay. Children often use thumb sucking as a security blanket, so it may be a difficult habit to break. If you notice your child stopping after a long thumb sucking session, give them praise and confidence-building rewards for stopping.

If the habit continues to occur as they start to approach the age of 4, their dentist will be able to prescribe for them a medication that is used to coat the surface of their thumbs with a foul and bitter substance. Ideally, children should stop sucking their thumbs by the time they are four, as this is when their permanent teeth begin to grow in.

Visit Awesome Smiles Dental Center today for an oral health care treatment for your child. We can be reached by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Tontra Lowe, DDS and our team at our dental office in Haymarket, Virginia by calling us at 571-261-2600.