Does your child suck their thumb? If so, we ask that you encourage them to stop. Thumbsucking is a destructive habit that can harm the smile in many ways. It can warp the development of the mouth and it can cause misaligned and crooked teeth. If you want your child to grow into a strong and healthy smile, our Winning Orthodontic Smiles team recommends that you do the following things:
· Praise your child each time they decide not to suck their thumb. This will help them feel successful and accomplished.
· Try to correct the reason your child feels so anxious. Generally, children tend to suck their thumbs when they feel nervous or unsafe, so please do everything possible to help your child feel comfortable and safe.
· Come up with a plan that will help your child quit the habit. Many people work with their children and come up with an award if they go a certain amount of days without participating in the habit.
· Have your dentist explain why thumbsucking is dangerous and what it can do to the teeth. If your child sees the consequences, they might decide to quit.
· Put a sock or bandage over the thumb at night to remind your child not to suck on it.
· Talk to your dentist or family doctor about prescribing a bitter medication to place over the thumb. When your child sucks the thumb, they will taste the bitterness and will not want to suck on it anymore.
If you are confused on how to help your child’s smile, we encourage you to call (843) 525-6228 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Skeet Burris, Travis Fiegle & Katie Pluckett. We are happy to meet with you and discuss anything you need to help your child grow into the beautiful and functional smile they deserve. We look forward to hearing from you!