Thumb Sucking and Prevention • Florissant

Digit sucking is a habit that occurs in infants. Children usually give up digit sucking by the age of four. If the child continues past the age when their permanent teeth start to erupt, they may develop crooked teeth and have a narrowed appearance to the roof of their mouth. This results from the frequency, duration, intensity, and position of the digit in the child’s mouth. This can also affect the position of the upper and lower jaw and can also affect speech.

Habit Appliances

Customized Thumb/Finger Appliances can be placed in the child’s mouth to prevent/deter the child from causing a deleterious effect on the developing dentition. They are very effective when left in place for 3-6 months. They are inserted using dental cement and will be removed by the pediatric dentist once the habit has been broken.

Suggestions to break the habit:

  • Wait till the time is right (low stress).
  • Motivate your child (show examples of what could happen to their teeth and fingers/thumbs).
  • Use a reward system (small incentives will encourage your child to stick with it).

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