Many children suck their thumbs or fingers. In fact, thumb sucking in children under the age of 4 is normal, and most children will stop this behavior between 2-4 years of age. However, if this habit persists, it can cause significant damage to the teeth and jaw, including open bites, horizontal overlap of the front teeth and crossbites. Dr. M. Danielle Funny and Dr. Sonya Maynor provide habit appliances to help your child stop sucking his or her thumbs or fingers and to prevent significant misalignment or poor oral development from occurring.
There are a variety of oral appliances available to help children break their thumb-sucking habits, including palatal cribs, lip bumpers, expanders and more. These appliances may be fixed (permanently placed) or removeable. When you bring your child to University Pediatric Dentistry, we will carefully evaluate his or her mouth to determine which type of appliance will be most beneficial.
There are also a variety of tricks that you can try at home, such as putting an article of clothing (like a bandage, glove or sock) over the thumb or fingers, especially at night. Thumb and finger sucking may also occur as a result of anxiety. Finding the source of your child’s stress and alleviating it may also help to reduce the incidences of sucking. Remember to provide positive reinforcement and encouragement when your child does not suck his or her thumb, as this will encourage them to continue breaking the habit.
For more information about habit appliances in Charlotte, North Carolina, and to make your child’s appointment with our caring pediatric dentists, please contact our office at 704-688-1664.