Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN Parental Guidance On Pacifiers, Thumb Sucking, And Dental Problems

Sucking thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers is very common for newborns and young children. Sucking is a natural reaction that gives newborns peace and happiness while also being aware of their conditions. Some babies start sucking their fingers as soon as they are born. This can be an oral health problem depending on how long the thumb sucking or continuous use of the pacifier lasts and how intensely the kid sucks the thumb or pacifier.

Most kids cease sucking using pacifiers and their thumbs between the ages of two and four, according to Children’s Dental Indianapolis IN. On the other hand, some kids persist until they grow up. As children get older, they learn new techniques to relax, unwind and enjoy themselves. However, some children need assistance from their pediatric dentist and parents to quit sucking.

Pacifier and Thumbs Sucking

Both of these behaviors are self-calming in that your child may be distracted when he is unhappy, anxious, confused, irritable, or unable to express his feelings adequately. If your child is a frequent thumb sucker or wants to use the pacifier practically all the time, it is essential to try to eliminate these behaviors as soon as possible.

Suppose your baby keeps sucking his thumb or requests a pacifier after becoming a toddler. We will be able to examine your child’s mouth for signs of an injury, such as a change of palate or teeth.

At what age your child Should Stop Sucking Thumb or/and Pacifier?

Allowing newborns and infants to use thumb-sucking or pacifiers is perfectly acceptable. It’s comfortable because it’s a reflex condition, and it often helps babies fall asleep or feel more comfortable and safer in unfamiliar settings. Most children will leave independently at the age of four. Even if they do not, social pressure can be a powerful motivator to change their behavior after preschool.

If your child is still doing this after the age of four, we usually try to focus on helping to break this behavior. Your best chance is to adopt a proactive strategy and stop the activity as soon as possible.

Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers Cause Dental Problems

When thumb sucking and pacifier use go beyond the first few years of life, it can cause dental problems in children. If your child only puts his finger or thumb in his mouth, the problems are usually less serious when he is aggressive while sucking his thumb or pacifier. Sucking a pacifier or thumb may disrupt a baby’s tooth placement and inhibit average jaw growth. Dental problems, jaw problems, migraines, and aesthetic problems can all be caused by this disorder. Due to aggressive and continuous thumb sucking or pacifier may cause the up and down arrangements of upper and lower teeth. Thumb sucking was associated with excessive biting and a posterior open bite, in which the front teeth do not touch at all when the kid bites, according to Indianapolis Police, IN. When thumb sucking causes discomfort, it may require extensive, expensive orthodontic therapy and, in extreme cases, corrective jaw surgery.

How To Avoid Your Child To Suck Thumb Or/ And Pacifier

It takes time to break the habit of thumb sucking or pacifier because it is comfortable for children, making it difficult for them to leave.

Here are some tips from pediatric dentist Indianapolis IN to help prevent pacifiers from digging and thumb sucking.

  • Discuss why it’s time to quit the habit and why it’s critical for them to do so with your kid.
  • Instead of criticizing your kid if you see them relapsing to old patterns, provide gentle reminders. Praise them when they do abstain!
  • If your child takes a pacifier, it will be easier to remove it since it is not attached to the body like a finger and nail. You might attempt to get rid of the binky cold turkey after speaking with your child and informing them that it will be removed.
  • If quitting the pacifier cold turkey doesn’t work, consider a more progressive approach. Begin by removing it while your kid is occupied and content or when they are not at home.
  • If you observe your child sucking on their thumb or sucking on their pacifier when they’re worried or unhappy, figure out why. Find out what makes them uncomfortable or unpleasant, and work together to develop various self-soothing approaches.
  • Many children use their pacifiers and chew their thumb before going to bed in the evening to help them fall asleep. If this is the case, change up your child’s nighttime ritual and substitute alternative calming activities such as having a bath, hugging, or reading a tale for sucking.
  • Make use of an incentive system. Sticker charts may be effective. Alternatively, if your kid manages to go through a difficult phase without sucking their thumb, reward them with something enjoyable.
  • If your child has a habit of returning to the activity while they aren’t thinking about it, place a sock on their hand or bandage their thumb at night to remind them.
  • Talk to your dentist at Speedway Dentistry. As a pediatric dentist, we know how to get on the baby’s surface and talk about their oral health, including thumb sucking and pacifiers. We can also help you slowly wean your baby from the thumb or pacifier.
  • If nothing else works and the tendency persists, we have habit-breaking gadgets available at Speedway Dentistry. The device usually includes ridges to keep a child’s thumb from contacting the palate, the region behind the front teeth where the habit may do the most significant harm. When their thumb is in their mouth, the ridges make it hard to produce suction, lowering the force. Tongue thrusting may also be treated using habit-breaking tools.

We can help you if you can’t persuade your child to give up his pacifier or stop sucking his thumb. Make an appointment with us at Speedway Pediatric Dentistry, and we will work together to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright!