Are thumb, finger and pacifier habits bad for the teeth and jaws?itsec
The majority of children stop sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects on their own between two and three years of age without any harm being done to their teeth or jaws. However, children that repeatedly suck on a finger, pacifier or other object over long periods of time may cause the upper front teeth to tip toward the lip or not come in properly. We will carefully monitor the direction of tooth eruption into the mouth. Often times, problems that arise related to oral habits will correct themselves if stopped in a timely manner. However, the longer the habit persists, the more likely it will cause a permanent malformation of the jaw and related skeleton.
What can I do to stop my child’s habit?
The majority of children stop sucking habits on their own. Some children may need the help of their parents. When your child is old enough to understand the possible results of an oral habit, we will encourage your child to stop. We will explain to them what happens to the teeth if he/she doesn’t stop. It is very important to get children to want to stop and to realize that it is a part of growing up.This will greatly increase their chances of terminating the habit.Once your child wants to stop, a reward system and earnest reminders will help he/she accomplish the goal.If all other options have been exhausted, we will discuss with you the use of a fixed dental appliance to exhaust the habit.