Thumb Sucking Can Cause Tooth Damage

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Is thumb sucking that bad for my toddler?

Thumb Sucking Can Cause Tooth Damage

Suck suck suck suck suck suck…although the image of an infant sitting down with his thumb for a nice suck can be pretty endearing, as your child ages it can become less cute. So how old is too old for thumb sucking?

According to the American Dental Association, thumb sucking starts to become a permanent problem if continued beyond four or five years of age. Fortunately, most children spontaneously stop the habit by this point, but if your child is still sucking away at that age and you want to avoid paying the potentially high costs associated with orthodontists later on, there are a number of things you can do to help you child kick the habit.

Above all, it is important that you not put too much overt pressure on your child as that can have the reverse effect, turning what is a natural development phase into an ingrained habit. Instead, use more subtle methods, such as trying to distract your child when you notice their thumb enter their mouth. You can also consult your child's pediatrician regarding the number of thumb painting treatments out there, which, when applied, make the thumb much less tasty and therefore much less appealing for sucking.



12/29/2011 2:05:16 PM



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