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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 hold back the growth of a child’s permanent set of teeth that have yet to show up.

Due to the fact that thumb sucking can harm the growth of teeth, you should always make an effort to help your child stop as soon as possible. Usually, a child’s first permanent tooth grows in around the age of four, which is when they should stop sucking their thumbs. Alternative treatments such as pacifiers are equally bad for a child’s oral health and alignment, but they do tend to be an easier habit to break.

Children frequently use thumb sucking as a means of protection, as it is comparable to a security blanket. Thus, always praising your child and raising their self-confidence is the first step in overcoming these faults. If you are struggling with your child, their pediatrician can suggest for them a treatment that dips their fingers in a foul tasting substance, which discourages them from continuing the routine.

If you would like to schedule a pediatric cleaning session at Pediatric Dentistry South, simply call our dentist office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at our number 412-257-1150. Dr. Richard Ruffalo and our entire team await.