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Can your child damage their teeth by sucking their thumb? The answer is yes, they can. Although thumb sucking tends to be a common habit in children, by no means should it be encouraged, as it can have many negative effects on their teeth, and even potentially affect the positioning of their teeth as they age. Listed below are some tips to help your child with their thumb sucking habit:

– Encourage or praise your child when they stop sucking their thumb. You can even give them a treat or gift that helps to remind them to not suck their thumb.

– If your child has not quit by 4 years of age, you should begin to try to be more proactive to help them break the habit.

– In some situations, a dentist can help with the child’s habit by coating their finger in a foul tasting substance.

– Take a few moments when they are sucking their thumb to explain to them the effect thumb sucking can have on their teeth.

– Although pacifiers may seem like a suitable alternative to thumb sucking, they are not. Pacifiers can cause the same type of damage to your child’s teeth. To make matters worse, some people also like to dip pacifiers in sugary substances, which in time can eat away at their child’s tooth enamel.

To schedule an appointment with Kenai Dental Clinic for your child, please call our pediatric office in Kenai, Alaska at 907-283-4875. Dr. Glen Lockwood and the rest of our team look forward to improving your smile for many years to come!