How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Your Child’s Teeth?

//How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Your Child’s Teeth?

How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Your Child’s Teeth?

Best Orthodontist in Bellandur | Dr.Nandini Nelivigi

Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

Sucking can be of nutritive value, self-soothing, and a pleasurable oral reflex. Soon after birth, the child has a reflexive behavior for sucking. Anything kept in the mouth will be sucked. Usually, this reflex will go by 4 months of age. If it persists beyond this age it becomes a habit that can pose some orthodontic problems to the teeth.

Aetiology of Thumb Sucking:
Causes of Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

Causes of Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

  1. Loneliness: If the child feels left out and is not getting enough attention then the child may resort to digit-sucking
  2. Hunger satisfaction: If the child remains not completely fed then he/she fulfills his hunger by sucking his digits
  3. Sense of Insecurity: The child derives a sense of comfort and security by sucking his digits

Digit sucking habit in the early years is acceptable. The child usually should be off the habit by the time the permanent dentition starts to be seen. So thumb sucking up to an age of 5-6 yrs is acceptable. If the habit persists beyond this time it could have deleterious effects on the dentition.

Effects of Thumb Sucking
Effects of Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

Effects of Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

  1. Proclination of upper front teeth (the upper front teeth will move forward)
  2. Retroclination of lower front teeth (the lower front teeth move back)
  3. Reduced inter canine distance (the tongue is positioned lower in the mouth thereby it is not able to counteract the forces of the buccal or cheek musculature and hence they tend to reduce the distance between the two canines)
  4. Posterior crossbite (the upper teeth move in and do not have any articulation with the lower teeth )
  5. Incompetent lips (because the upper front teeth are proclined, the child is not able to close his lips)
  6. Anterior open bite: ( there is no overlap of the front teeth)
Treatment For Avoiding Thumb Sucking
Treatment For Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

Treatment For Thumb Sucking | Best Orthodontist in Bellandur

  1. Reward technique: Tell the child about the ill effects of the habit. When he/she does not indulge in the habit for a few hours at least in the day reward them. This positively reinforces the child.
  2. Keep the child engaged in some activities and do not let them feel lonely.
  3. Take a dentists consultation: He might be a better person to show the pictures of children with thumb sucking and convince the child not to indulge in the habit
  4. Try putting on mittens or bandage on the finger at night
  5. You can use home remedies like bitter or sour tasting liquid to be applied to the finger or even bitter tasting nail paints are available in the market.
  6. If none of these remedies work an orthodontic appliance may be required

Orthodontic appliances are made with a crib behind the upper incisors which will not give the satisfaction that the child gets with thumb sucking. The placement of thumb will not be possible in the same way as earlier hence the child learns to give away the habit.

By |2019-05-14T03:04:53+00:00May 13th, 2019|General|0 Comments