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Does your child routinely suck their thumb? Are you aware of the risks with your child sucking their thumb? Even though thumb sucking is completely natural and expected in most children, it can lead to a downturn in their oral health and cause further issues and problems later on with their teeth and gums. To help combat thumb sucking, be aware of the risks and potential treatment options.

A key risk of a child sucking their thumb has to do with bacteria in their mouth. Oftentimes, their hands are not clean, and by introducing new bacteria their mouth, they can slowly damage their teeth more. Not only can this lead to dental erosion and tooth decay, but the act of thumb sucking can cause misalignments in a child’s dental profile and cause teeth to not fully grow in properly. Typically, you will want to break the habit before a child is four years of age or it can begin to affect your permanent front teeth as well. If your child is sucking their thumb, be sure to praise them when they stop. If they are struggling with the habit, bring them in to see your dentist in extreme cases where a bitter-tasting substance may need to be applied to their fingers.

If you are ready for a thumb sucking treatment for your child from Steelcroft Dental at our office in Charlotte, North Carolina, then you are welcome to call us at 704-749-6300. Dr. Vinutha Kupperi and our entire team look forward to improving your child’s oral health with pediatric dentistry.