Can Prolonged Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Affect Your Child’s Dental Health?

Can Prolonged Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Affect Your Child’s Dental Health?

Sucking on thumbs and other fingers, pacifiers, or other objects is a natural way to self-soothe, gives a sense of security, and helps the child fall asleep. Sucking on their thumb and fingers is one of the infant’s natural reflexes, and it starts right from the womb. But prolonged thumb sucking is a cue for concern because it affects the dental health of your children. According to Blacktown dental experts, prolonged thumb sucking can cause changes in the alignment of teeth and the roof of the mouth. Similarly, pacifiers cause problems with kids’ primary teeth development. Most children stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of two and four years. Some of the dental problems that can be caused by thumb sucking or the usage of pacifiers are listed below.

Jaw Misalignment

Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifier usage may cause your jaw to develop abnormally. This habit modifies the natural shape of the upper jaw and arch, and sometimes, it develops a higher palate due to the pressure exerted by the tongue or finger.

Misaligned Teeth

One of the most serious, permanent side effects of thumb sucking and prolonged use of a pacifier is misaligned teeth. This poor positioning of the tooth leads to open bite and overbite. When the upper and lower front teeth become directed outward, it leads to an open bite. Having protruded teeth is embarrassing, and this condition needs a quick fix, which generally requires costly orthodontic treatment. Overbite is caused when the upper front teeth become protruded, and this can affect the shape of your face and smile. In extreme conditions, it requires costly orthodontic treatment to correct the issue. The placement of traditional metal braces is difficult with the ‘overbite’ condition, hence alternative orthodontic appliances may be needed to correct the alignment of your teeth.

Affects Speech

As mentioned earlier, thumb sucking or pacifier usage can affect the proper development of your jaw, teeth, and palate. This makes it difficult for your child to pronounce complex consonant sounds and produce distorted sounds. Some people undergo high-speech therapy trying to correct these impediments. Without proper Blacktown dental care, it works only to an extent.

Bacterial Growth

To help the baby accept the pacifier, some parents dip it in honey, sugar, or syrup. This coats the teeth with sugar and promotes bacterial growth by releasing food for acid-forming bacteria.

Wrapping Up

Thumb sucking, pacifier, and other parafunctional habits push the tongue against the front teeth and results in misalignment. A certified orthodontist in Blacktown suggests the usage of orthodontic appliances to stop these harmful oral habits from causing further dental issues. So, do you want your child to have a brilliant smile? Get in touch with our dental professionals now. We specialise in cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, microscopic dentistry Blacktown, and more.



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