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Thumb-Sucking – Duncanville, TX

Break Bad Habits for a Healthier Smile

A little girl wearing a blue dress and holding a bunny is seen practicing thumb-sucking in Duncanville

If you notice your baby sucking their thumb, do not begin to panic. This is a natural practice used to help them self-soothe. Although cute while they are infants, the continued practice of thumb-sucking in Duncanville can be harmful the older they get, especially as they reach the ages of 4 or 5. Dr. Donna Barefield and the team at Barefield Pediatric Dentistry want your child to develop a healthy, beautiful smile, which is why they are pleased to provide tips and tricks that are designed to curb this non-nutritive habit before it becomes a serious problem. By implementing these techniques, you can feel more confident in the future of your child’s smile.

Should I Discourage Thumb-Sucking?

A young boy lying in bed and sucking his thumb in Duncanville

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), thumb-sucking should not be of great concern until your child’s front teeth are in place. The pulling and sucking motion can cause these teeth to protrude and result in a more prominent overbite or open bite. Not to mention, the continued practice can have a negative impact on their facial development, causing potential problems to develop in the roof of the mouth. While most babies will give up the practice before they reach the age of 1, many will continue until they are 4 or 5. At least point, it’s time that you seek the help of a pediatric dentist in Duncanville to avoid more serious oral health and development problems.

If Problems Arise Because of Thumb-Sucking, Can They Be Reversed?

A young girl smiling while preparing to see her pediatric dentist in Duncanville

The only way to treat a poorly aligned bite that has formed as a result of thumb-sucking is to have your child see a dentist or orthodontist who can provide effective treatment to bring their smile back into proper alignment. Although full braces may not be necessary at this point, some form of orthodontic care will be required to avoid potential problems that can develop because of overbites, open bites, and other common dental problems.

It may also be possible to inquire about oral devices that are placed inside the mouth and are designed to inhibit thumb-sucking.

Ways to Break the Habit

A mom smiles while giving her daughter a piggyback ride in Duncanville

When meeting with Dr. Barefield or another member of the Barefield Pediatric Dentistry team, you will be pleased to learn various tips and techniques you can use to help your child stop sucking their thumb. Some of these include:

Schedule an Appointment

If you need help to encourage your little one to stop sucking their thumb, Dr. Barefield and her team of experts are here to assist. Not only will she provide the calm and compassionate care you and your child deserve, but she will offer beneficial tips to ensure your child’s smile develops correctly over time. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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