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3 Ways Thumb-Sucking Can Harm Your Child's Mouth March 27, 2017

Texarkana, Miller
3 Ways Thumb-Sucking Can Harm Your Child's Mouth, Texarkana, Arkansas

While thumb-sucking may be cute in small children, it can cause adverse long-term effects as they grow. Aside from being an unhealthy habit, dentists at Randall A. Ellis DDS in Texarkana, Arkansas, advise it can cause significant harm to teeth that affect speech, eating, and facial development. It’s important to consult with a dentist if thumb-sucking continues after your child’s permanent teeth come in, The long-term benefit of intervention will save your child’s oral health, as well as the cost of expensive repair procedures.

Thumb-sucking is considered normal up until age 3 and can be a difficult habit to break. Read on to learn more about how it affects your child’s teeth.

3 Ways Thumb-Sucking Harms Your Child

dentist-randall-a-ellis-dds1. Improper Alignment

Prolonged sucking can have significant effects on tooth alignment. As a child sucks its thumb, it’s not only causing teeth to shift, but also keeping them from resting in a closed position. This can lead to crossbite, overbite, and other alignment issues that will later require expensive cosmetic dentistry procedures. A dentist can offer advice on how to break this habit, so consult with yours at your child's next teeth cleaning.

2. Speech Issues

Teeth have a significant impact on speech. As they shift, they can cause structural damage to the roof of your child’s mouth. Shifting can lead to difficulty pronouncing words and influence how the tone of their voice develops. Dental roof repair requires extensive treatment, and coupled with speech therapy, the process of recovery can become costly.

3. Germs & Bacteria

Children love to touch and explore things, which is healthy for development. However, if they have a thumb-sucking habit, it can introduce harmful bacteria to the mouth. These germs and bacteria can damage the teeth and gums, leading to cavities, gum disease, and other more serious oral conditions.

There are many ways to break a thumb-sucking habit, and a dentist at the office of Randall A. Ellis DDS in Texarkana, Arkansas, can help. They create a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere for children and treat patients with great care and compassion. To schedule an appointment, call (870) 772-1374 today, and visit their website and Facebook to learn more about their services.

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