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Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers

How Much Damage Do They Really Cause?
By CDG      January 31, 2012

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Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers
It was sweet when they were born. Little Molly sucked her thumb and baby Jack rocked to sleep with a pacifier in his mouth. But, now they are two and you’re getting worried. You’ve begged, pleaded and bribed your child to stop sucking his thumb to no avail. Does that mean you are doomed to expensive orthodontia or reconstructive work?
Do You Have To Break The Habit?
According to the American Dental Association, thumb sucking and pacifier use from birth is typically just fine and a normal part of a baby’s growth and development. Up until the age of two, thumb or pacifier sucking is just soothing the child and does not pose any dental risk. It is also a known lifesaver for the parent of a screaming child or a mid-night wakeup. However, it is after the toddler years that a parent needs to gently help their child break the habit as prolonged use of a pacifier or thumb sucking can lead to misaligned teeth, changes in the overall shape of the mouth and even speech problems. All of these issues will most likely require further, often expensive, dental care as the adult teeth begin to come in.
Preserving That Beautiful Smile
Breaking the habit can be a tough adjustment for your little one, so tread lightly. Pulling away a pacifier is easier for the parent then it is for the child. With a pacifier there is something you can physically do to help break the child of the habit; thumb suckers can be a little tougher. Often, a conversation about the upcoming change is helpful to alleviate the trauma of losing their attachment. Some parents talk about a ‘Pacifier Fairy’ coming to take pacifiers to new babies who need them. Additionally, thumb suckers can successfully work on their habit as a nighttime story is told discussing saying ‘Goodbye to Baby Thumb.’ Reward charts, positive encouragement and keeping hands busy during the daytime hours with activity have also been proven effective methods of breaking the habit. Whatever technique you use, remember that ridding your child of thumb sucking or pacifier use early into the toddler years will help to create a healthier mouth, straighter teeth and a more beautiful smile.

Children’s Dental Group

The Leader in Pediatric Dental Care
At the Children’s Dental Group, we believe in making your child’s dental experience both positive and comfortable. We are the area’s premier pediatric preventive and therapeutic dental care provider and we pride ourselves on creating top notch dental wellness in a fun, educational environment. Children’s Dental Group strives to consistently achieve and surpass the highest standards of care as well as offer advice and instruction to promote a well-balanced diet and proper oral hygiene.

Choose Children’s Dental Group, when you are looking for pediatric dentist in the Las Vegas, Nevada area. We are constantly referred by our many satisfied patients, who have benefited from our services and experience. Please call our office at 702-220-9100 to schedule an appointment.
      January 31, 2012

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