Avoiding and Correcting Problems
Extended use of pacifiers or thumb sucking can eventually cause damage to your child’s teeth. If your child continues sucking their thumb or using their pacifier past the age of four, it can lead to crooked teeth and speech problems. In some cases, the upper part of the jaw can even become malformed. It is often easier to get a child to stop using a pacifier than it is to get them to stop sucking their thumb.
The amount of damage to your child’s teeth teeth depends on a few things; how often your child is sucking their thumb or pacifier, how long they’ve been doing so, and the intensity with which they suck on it.
Here are some helpful tips to help break the habit of pacifier use and thumb sucking:
- Make sure the timing is right
- Choose a low stress environment
- Reward your child when he or she is not sucking
- Read the book, “David Decides About Thumb Sucking: A Story for Children, a Guide for Parents” written by Susan Heitler, PHD
Be sure to check out our Thumbs Up, Thumbs Out program, which is designed to help your children end their thumb sucking habit. If you are in need of additional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us!