Pediatric Dentistry in Huntsville AL for Thumb Suckers
Does your child suck his or her thumb? Perhaps you have an infant who is sucking their thumb during this stage of their life. You may even find it adorable. Thumb sucking is usually not a major problem, and many children outgrow it. There are a number of children who do not, and it can be disturbing for some parents. As a general rule, thumb sucking in infants is not a major issue. However, it could be reasonable to be alarmed about older children sucking their thumbs. A Pediatric Dentistry in Huntsville AL provider is a good resource for understanding thumb sucking and how to discourage children from sucking their thumbs in a nurturing manner.
One of the concerns you may have about your child sucking their thumb is likely related to them affecting their teeth. Sometimes people who suck their thumbs cause their teeth to protrude in a manner that makes it obvious that they are thumb suckers. This protrusion of the teeth can cause speech impediments, and orthodontic treatments may be required to fix the misaligned teeth. Changes with teeth is usually seen in thumb suckers who are aggressive or active thumb suckers. This means that they actually suck their thumbs. Another group of thumb suckers are referred to as passive thumb suckers. This group usually rests their thumbs in their mouths without actually sucking them.
Perhaps you are wondering if there are any measures you can take to help wean your child away from thumb sucking. First of all, ensure that your child is old enough to understand why you would like for them to stop sucking their thumb. You could create a chart that is similar to a behavior chart and reward your child when they refrain from sucking their thumb for a certain period of time. Placing bandages over the thumbs can also discourage thumb sucking. You may want to place socks over your child’s hands at night to thwart the behavior.
Parents who have concerns about how their children’s thumb sucking may be affecting their oral health should address their concerns with a pediatric dentistry in Huntsville AL. Sometimes thumb sucking is a sign of an underlying anxiety issue which needs to be addressed.