Pediatric Dentistry Information: How Long-Term Thumb-Sucking May Affect Permanent Teeth Development

Pediatric Dentistry Phoenix, AZ

Thumb-sucking may lead to pediatric dentistry treatments someday. This soothing habit in babies, toddlers, or even young children may be cute to look at. Yet, the reality of long-term thumb-sucking involves dental consequences for the child. It may affect various aspects of the child’s jaw, teeth, and facial development in a negative way. If you want to find out how this happens, here are the facts.

Effects of thumb-sucking

Keeping the thumb in the mouth without sucking it does not cause any harm to the dentition at all. Active thumb-sucking can affect the proper positioning of baby teeth. The misalignment tends to self-correct as the adult teeth emerge. Extended, active thumb-sucking leads to the misalignment in the child’s permanent teeth. It can also expose the child to more dirt, bacteria, and even viruses. This will call for pediatric dentistry treatments for the teeth, jaw, and roof of the mouth as the child gets older.

Parents should discourage thumb-sucking in children by age four. Keeping the habit beyond this age can affect the development of the child’s jaw and mouth. The child will likely need specific treatments for the jaw and the teeth. It may be difficult to make the child stop thumb-sucking right away. Because of this, the parents should start discouraging the habit by age two or earlier.

Problems from long-term thumb-sucking

Children who thumb-suck beyond four years old can suffer from misalignment of the teeth or malocclusion issues. The most common one is the open bite. In this problem, the bottom and upper teeth do not touch each other, even with a closed mouth. An overbite can also happen due to extended thumb-sucking. In this dental problem, the upper dental arch goes over the lower dental arch. This results in biting and chewing difficulties.

The child’s facial and jaw development also go through significant changes because of long-term thumb-sucking. Prolonged sucking on a pacifier or thumb affects the development of a child’s facial and mouth muscles. It also affects the positioning of the child’s teeth and jaws. The repetitive motion of sucking pushes the teeth toward an unnatural direction. In this case, the child will need pediatric dentistry correction techniques.

Long-term thumb-sucking can also affect the child’s speech development. The open bite or overbite makes the tongue push forward through the teeth. This poor control of the tongue often results in difficulties with saying R, Z, S, and L sounds. Seeing a pediatric dentist can help with this problem. Pediatric dentistry treatments can realign the child’s permanent teeth. Realignment of the teeth can correct the child’s speech.

Pediatric dentistry treatments can help with the effects of long-term thumb-sucking

Extended thumb-sucking can cause problems with your child’s teeth, jaw, and facial development. Discouraging this habit before your child reaches four years old is ideal. This is a good way to prevent such issues from taking hold. Older children who still have this habit should have pediatric dentistry treatments. An appointment with your pediatric dentist can help start your child’s journey to better oral health.

Are you considering having a pediatric dentistry treatment in the Phoenix area? Get more information at https://www.camelbackpedoortho.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ.

Recent Posts

Pediatric Dentistry Tips For Plaque

Plaque is one of the main concerns in pediatric dentistry. Pediatric dentists aim to prevent the accumulation of plaque on primary and permanent teeth. The absence of plaque leads to a healthy set of dentition. This then leads to a healthy body. If you want to find out how to keep plaque at bay, here…

How A Pediatric Dentist Can Help With Cavity Prevention

The primary goal of a pediatric dentist is to keep a child’s teeth and gums healthy. Following your pediatric dentist’s recommendations for your child’s oral care is a potent way to do this. Combining these with regular dental visits will improve your child’s dental health and development. Here are the details of how your pediatric…

Pediatric Dentist Tips: What Parents Should Look For When Supervising Their Child's Toothbrushing

As a parent, you probably have a lot of questions for your child’s pediatric dentist. You know that teaching good toothbrushing skills to children can be difficult. Very young children may not have the necessary motor skills to brush and floss successfully. Older children may not like toothbrushing and often do not do a thorough…

A Pediatric Dentist Gives Tips For Children Starting To Brush And Floss

Your child’s pediatric dentist knows that children are still learning how to hold the brush and be thorough. For children who are starting to brush and floss, doing a good job can be difficult. Your child can get distracted or bored and miss big portions of the mouth. Getting children to floss is even more…

Recent Posts

An Orthodontist Discusses How Jawbone Development Can Affect Your Smile

An Orthodontist Discusses How Jawbone Development Can Affect Your Smile

If you are seeing an orthodontist to improve your smile, there are many areas to look at and consider. You are getting orthodontic treatment so that you can feel happier about your appearance. Part of this may involve correcting jaw abnormalities and how these are linked to the alignment of your teeth. Jaw growth can…

Pediatric Dentistry Tips  For Plaque

Pediatric Dentistry Tips For Plaque

Plaque is one of the main concerns in pediatric dentistry. Pediatric dentists aim to prevent the accumulation of plaque on primary and permanent teeth. The absence of plaque leads to a healthy set of dentition. This then leads to a healthy body. If you want to find out how to keep plaque at bay, here…