thumb sucking affect teeth madison heights mi

How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Teeth?

What Is Thumb Sucking?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for infants and children. Sucking on thumbs, pacifiers, or other objects may create a feeling of security or soothe them to help with falling asleep. Thumb sucking is a stereotypical habit of babies, so it may feel unnatural to intervene. However, breaking the habit of thumb sucking is important to avoid causing developmental issues in the mouth. Our team at Petrous Orthodontics specialize in clear braces and Invisalign Teen to correct common orthodontic problems caused by thumb sucking.

How Can Thumb Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Once a child’s permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking may affect the proper alignment of the growth of teeth and jaw. The intensity of thumb sucking is a factor that determines the level of damage. Some children who are aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby teeth early on. The force of thumb sucking can cause teeth to tip forward, which leads to complicated malocclusions such as open bites, crossbites, or overjets.

What Are The Consequences Of Thumb Sucking?

thumb sucking affect teeth madison heights miSimilar to pacifiers, thumb sucking can help very young children develop jaw muscles. However, after that it quickly becomes an issue. Thumb sucking is a habit that may cause a child to withdraw and ‘zone out’ instead of interacting. While thumb sucking may appear to be an innocent habit, the results can affect your child’s health later on into adulthood. The long-term negative consequences of thumb sucking include:

  • Narrowing of the jaw
  • Shrinking the airway
  • Altered breathing
  • Poor swallow patterns
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Hindered speech
  • Abnormal tongue placement

When Should Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?

Children usually stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time their permanent front teeth start to erupt. If you notice abnormalities in your child’s primary teeth or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking consult with a Madison Heights orthodontist such as Dr. Petrous. Remember, the older a child gets the more difficult breaking this habit can be.

Finding Out How Thumb Sucking Affects Teeth In Madison Heights MI

Dr. Petrous and our team at Petrous Orthodontics are experts in pediatric dentistry. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding thumb sucking or how does thumb sucking affect teeth in Madison Heights MI, Sterling Heights MI, Hazel Park MI, Warren MI, and Royal Oak MI. Contact Petrous Orthodontics to schedule a free consultation today. Call now (248) 588-2020.