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Although thumb sucking is often seen as a tool for children to use to help them sleep, the truth is that thumb sucking can lead to oral ailments from bacterial contamination as well as alignment issues from teeth being slowly shifted. Here are some important guidelines about keeping thumb sucking at bay:

– Thumb sucking can cause malocclusions and alter the alignment of teeth in a child’s mouth.
– Children can slow and damage the growth of their teeth by thumb sucking.
– Thumb sucking can also move bacteria from their hands into a child’s mouth, which can increase their likelihood of tooth decay and gum disease.
– Although many individuals may see pacifiers as a positive alternative to thumb sucking, the truth is that pacifiers can cause the same type of damage on the alignments of a smile.
– Children typically count on thumb sucking as a security blanket to help them with security issues, so always strive to build confidence in your child, and praise them when they do not suck their thumbs.
– If your child continues to suck their thumb past an unhealthy age, their pediatrician can prescribe a foul-tasting substance to place on their thumbs to dampen thumb sucking.

To learn more about thumb sucking treatment options, contact Dr. Cathy Fermelia and our team at Academy Park Dental Assoc. by calling us at 303-987-2121. If you would like an oral exam or bi-annual professional cleaning for your child, our pediatric office is located in Lakewood, Colorado. We are here to proudly keep your child’s smile healthy and happy.