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When a child sucks his or her thumb, it’s usually a sign they are distressed about something. Thumb sucking is a way for a baby to pacify her or himself, and if not stopped, can cause oral and social issues in the future, leading to more dentist visits.

As a parent or caregiver, you hate to see your child suffer or feel anxiety and stress, so you may think thumb-sucking is a good way to calm them down; but, it can affect their teeth and mouth, causing more problems than it’s worth. Here are some potential dental issues, thumb sucking could result in:

– Overbite, the result of when the top teeth cover the bottom teeth, instead of them touching evenly. This condition typically occurs when a child’s mouth is closed a lot, like with thumb-sucking.

– Open Bite, which is a more serious permanent side effect of thumb-sucking, otherwise known as malocclusion. This misalignment usually requires orthodontic correction in the future.

– Speech Impediment can occur when children suck their thumb, especially with hard consonants, such as “D” and “T”.

– Social issues and problems with bullying, if the habit continues when they get into school. Since thumb- sucking is mainly a habit to deal with stress and anxiety, it may make things worse, promoting more reason to suck their thumb.

We can help break your child’s thumb-sucking in Peabody, Massachusetts, so please get in touch with our dental team at Zicherman, Lago, and Associates, PC. Our Dr. Federico Lago would love to consult with you, so call 978.535.2500 today!