04 Jun

Thumbsucking is a Natural Occurrence But Your London Dentist Can Help Answer Any Dental Concerns You May Have

Many children suck their thumbs from the earliest age, it can even be seen in the womb with ultrasounds. Thumbsucking is a natural reflex that is harmless at an early age. For most children thumbsucking will cease at 6 months, some it will continue for several years, and a few will continue on for much longer. For many young children it becomes a comforting action and may help them to sleep at night. It is only when children continue to suck their thumb over many years that there are dental risks. If this is the case, your London dentist will be able to show you the best methods of prevention.
It is highly advised that children are encouraged to stop thumbsucking by the time their adult teeth make an appearance. It is the continuous habit, more than the actual pressure that can cause thumbsucking to cause malformation of the teeth and gums. Over the years the pressure slowly pulls the teeth forward around the shape of the thumb. The roof of the mouth will also change shape to account for new shape of the teeth. Treatments for serious issues will be severe and a lot harder than preventative measures.
If children do not stop sucking their thumb of their volition there are a few techniques that might help. Be sure to praise children for not sucking their thumb, more than berate them for doing it. If a child is thumbsucking due to anxiety it is important to address the cause of the anxiety, not just the symptom. If necessary your dentist may be able to prescribe extreme bitter medication that is painted onto the thumb and makes the experience highly unpleasant for the child. Do not simply replace the thumb with a pacifier, these have equally problematic consequences for dental health.