A lot of people think that thumb sucking is an innocent, harmless act that normal children do. They don’t see the hidden connection between the activity and damages caused to teeth. Parents and their children must learn more about the consequences of thumb sucking and why visiting a dentist is important.
This problem mostly affects children under the age of eight years old. This is the period when they lose their baby teeth and grow newer, stronger ones in their place. They need to practice good dental hygiene to ensure their teeth grow strong and sturdy.
With thumb suckers, the teeth grow in but not as straight as they should be. The thumb can interfere with the proper development of bone and the growth of teeth, so an overbite and other signs of malocclusion could appear.
The habit could result in the reshaping of the jaw. The bone that is still growing can be remolded into an uneven shape and create misaligned teeth. When the jaw is affected, the tongue could grow in an awkward position, making it difficult to speak, eat and chew properly.
This habit can affect the development of the tonsils, causing the tissues to atrophy or collapse. Many children introduce bacteria into their mouths through their fingers. The tonsils could become inflamed and require removal. When the tonsils are affected, there could be an additional problem with snoring in young children.
In addition to the physical harm, thumb sucking causes negative psychological damage. Any activity that is done excessively creates an addiction that grows more over time. At very young ages, children are likely to develop bad habits that they find hard to break. They cannot go for more than a few hours without sucking. When confronted about their problem, they may even deny that there’s something wrong.
Sucking the thumb seems like an innocent act when it could cause all types of dental problems. Children usually suck their thumbs until the age of three, and it’s only after this age when the habit becomes unhealthy. Mountain View Dental supports children during the first years of their teeth development. They assist parents in helping their children to stop thumb sucking and develop cleaner dental habits. They have a comfortable, child-friendly office with professionals there to answer any questions. When it’s time to schedule an appointment, contact Mountain View Dental.