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For infants, thumb-sucking is part of a natural “sucking reflex.” However, after a child’s permanent teeth begin to appear, thumb-sucking can cause serious dental issues. Teeth may begin to grow in differently, changing the dental structure of the child’s mouth. Usually, a gap forms between the teeth on the top jaw and bottom jaw, creating difficulties with developing speaking stills, eating, and appearance.

There are several options for treating dental issues brought on by thumb-sucking, but it’s best to prevent the problem from occurring. If your child sucks his or her thumb, here are some tips:

  • Encourage your child to stop sucking his or her thumb by recognizing and complimenting when they’re not sucking.
  • During the night, put a sock on the child’s hand.
  • If you’re child is older, negotiate with them to find appropriate rewards for stopping thumb-sucking.

If you’re concerned that thumb-sucking is impeding your child’s dental health, contact Lakeway Center today.