Many children suck on their thumbs, but many parents don’t know that it’s dangerous for their child’s smile. Thumbsucking can easily warp the development of the mouth and it can also cause misaligned and crooked teeth. So, it’s best to encourage your child to quit the habit. To help you do so, our Haws Family Dentistry team recommends doing the following things:
· Tell your child that you are proud of them when they decide not to suck their thumbs. This will encourage them to quit the habit.
· Children tend to suck their thumbs when they feel insecure, nervous, or unsafe. So, please do your best to eliminate the source of anxiety and give your child the comfort they need.
· Work with your child and come up with a plan to stop. You can even decide on a reward if your child goes a specific amount of days without sucking their thumb.
· Have your dentist provide encouragement by explaining why it is so dangerous to participate in the habit. If he also shows your child pictures of distorted smiles, your child might want to stop all on their own.
· Put a sock or bandage over the thumb at night to keep your child from sucking on it.
· Ask your dentist or family doctor to prescribe bitter medication to coat the thumb with. If the thumb is covered in this medication, your child will not like the taste of their thumb.
If you are interested in knowing more, please remember that you can always call 435-734-9144 and talk to a member of our caring dental team. We are happy to teach you all we know about the thumbsucking habit. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jayson C. Haws if you are concerned about your child’s oral health. We look forward to helping you!