Struggling with a Thumb Sucking Toddler? Your Family Dentist in Red Deer Can Help

One of the issues that Red Deer dentists see in their younger patients is thumb sucking. This habit is very common in children, and it should not be a cause for immediate alarm. However, certain factors associated with thumb sucking do need to be addressed. If you pay close attention to a variety of details, you can work to prevent damage from this childhood practice. Whenever you are in doubt, be sure to consult your family dentist in Red Deer. By taking your child to regular dental appointments, you can help your dentist monitor the situation. If further action is needed, your dentist will help you to determine which steps should be taken. 

Facts about Thumb Sucking

If your child sucks his or her thumb and you are worried that it may cause problems, don’t panic. The following points may help you understand a bit more about this common habit. You can also explore a little about what to do if thumb sucking is becoming an issue. Always remember that a family dentist who treats children can assist you in taking action if necessary. 

  • Thumb sucking is not abnormal for toddlers: Countless young children suck their thumbs. If your child still has all of his or her baby teeth, you probably don’t need to be very concerned about the habit. Just make sure that you keep an eye on the situation. If your child is still prone to thumb sucking when the first permanent teeth arrive, you might need to find ways to discourage this habit. 
  • Intensity could be a problem: While thumb sucking at a young age is not generally a problem, it can become one based on the level of intensity. A thumb with a callous is one indication that your child’s habit is too extreme. If the thumb sucking is very intense or frequent, the teeth may become crooked. Although dental misalignment is more serious in permanent teeth, it can be an issue even with baby teeth. If your child experiences movement of the teeth, he or she may develop a lisp or other speech problems. Routine checkups with your family dentist should help you to detect this condition. 
  • Steps you can take at home: Once you and your family dentist in Red Deer have determined that thumb sucking is an issue, be proactive at home. Never shame or scold your child about this habit. Instead, offer fun rewards when he or she abstains from the practice for increasingly longer periods. Positive reinforcement is generally more effective and healthier for children. Another strategy you might try is to wrap a bandage around the thumb to dissuade your child from sucking on it. 

There is no need to be dismayed if your child indulges in thumb sucking. Just make sure to monitor the habit, and tell your dentist about it. The best way to keep your child’s teeth in good health is to schedule routine appointments. Parkland Mall Dental Centre welcomes children and new dental patients of all ages. Our Red Deer dentists are happy to assist you with all of your questions about dentistry for children.

Call us at 403-342-1118 today to book an appointment. Patients who are new to Parkland Mall Dental Centre can also fill out our online contact form for more information about our services.