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Thumb-sucking in children is a completely natural part of growing up, but it is bad for their oral health. Prolonged thumb-sucking causes a child’s teeth to grow in improperly and even stunt the growth of their chompers. To ensure their future smile will be stellar, encourage your child to stop sucking their thumb as soon as you can.

Alternative methods such as using a pacifier may seem like a healthy alternative, but pacifiers can also cause malocclusions, known as “bad bite” due to misaligned teeth. Pacifiers are an easier habit to break in children than thumb-sucking but it is by no means an alternative method of treatment.

If you child continues to suck their thumb, you can try a reward system for the times they do not. Always encourage and applaud them when they stop sucking their thumb. In addition, you can help build their self-esteem so they are less likely to use their thumb as a defense mechanism when they are afraid. For additional help, your child’s pediatrician can place a bitter substance on their thumbs that is bad-tasting to discourage them from sucking.

If you think your child could use a professional exam from our team at Solomon & Wright Associates, P.C., we invite you to schedule an appointment in Melrose, Massachusetts, by calling 781-665-5222. Dr. David Solomon, Dr. Joseph Solomon, Dr. Jared Solomon, and Dr. Peter Wright are pleased to help your child achieve a healthy smile with our family-oriented, comprehensive dentistry!