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It’s been known that thumb-sucking is a reaction to stress, a way for a baby to pacify her or himself. It’s also well-known that it can affect children’s oral health – and not for the good. In today’s blog, you will learn how this stress-reliever may cause potential future oral problems.

Thumb-sucking for babies and toddlers is usually from a reaction to stress and anxiety. As a parent or caregiver, you may be tempted to allow them to continue; however, the habit can affect their teeth and mouth adversely, causing more problems in the future that could result in dental treatment. These potential dental issues that thumb-sucking could cause include:

– Open Bite, a more serious permanent side of effect of thumb-sucking, otherwise known as malocclusion. This misalignment usually requires orthodontic correction in the future.

– Overbite can be the result of thumb-sucking, and occurs when the top teeth cover the bottom teeth, instead of them touching evenly. This usually is a sign that a child’s mouth is closed a lot and can be the result of having your child’s mouth closed a lot, such as with thumb-sucking.

– Speech Impediment may occur when children suck their thumb, and can especially affect hard consonants, such as “D” and “T”.

– Social issues, if the habit continues when they get into school, with a potential for kids bullying the child. Since thumb-sucking is mainly a habit to deal with stress and anxiety, it may make things worse, leading to a viscous cycle.

Learn some tips and tricks to help to break your child’s habits, when you contact our dental team at Sukyoung Ahn DDS. We are happy to set you up an appointment with our talented dentist, Dr. Suk Young Ahn, for thumb-sucking in Chico, California!