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The link between poor oral health and thumb sucking has been extensively studied over the past few decades, with all sources agreeing that sucking your thumb can and will damage your teeth. Not only can thumb sucking lead to misalignments in your teeth, it can also hinder the growth of a child’s permanent set of teeth that have yet to erupt.

If your child is sucking their thumb, indicate to them the dangers of doing so, By talking with your child, you can better help them understand while the habit should be avoided. Although pacifiers may seem like a great alternative to give your child, in fact, they can have the same negative effects on teeth that thumb sucking can.

Because children often look at thumb sucking as a security blanket for when they are anxious or scared, it can be a difficult task to break. If you continue to struggle, your child’s pediatrician can place a foul tasting and bitter substance on their finger to help discourage thumb sucking. At the latest, a child should stop sucking their thumb around 4 years old, so that their permanent teeth have the best chance of growing in correctly.

If you are ready to take the next step to achieve a glorious smile for your child, set an appointment with Westlake Pediatric Dentistry at our pediatric office in Austin, Texas. We can easily be reached at 512-732-0022. Dr. Kyle Raymond and the rest of our team look forward to taking your child’s smile into the future!