We all have bad habits!
Some are difficult to break, and some are just too cute!
Sucking the thumb, though it is cute when your baby has picked up on it, after the ages of 6 and 8, when adult teeth begin to show themselves, it may cause a series of dental issues that will be unpleasant to the child. Thumb sucking, for an infant, is a reflex and can be seen as early as 15 weeks after conception. It is an act that warmth and comfort for the baby.
Many dentists recommend breaking the habit as early as possible. If not, some infants may carry it on into their toddler stages and possibly into adulthood. Typically no harm is done to the oral cavity or dentition until adult teeth erupt. However, when the habit is perpetuated it will cause the palate of the mouth to rise. This is caused by the constant pressure and sucking motion on the teeth. The incisors begin to protrude forward creating a full open bite. The then “correct” bit for the person will be one where the front teeth are not in contact, while the teeth in the back are not.
The bite will remain open until orthodontics procedures take place. Here at iSmile Orthodontics, our doctors specialize in fixing open bites and “buckteeth” (malocclusion) by using braces to correct the bite. Unfortunately, the teeth will not be perfect UNLESS the thumb sucking habit is corrected. Even swallowing incorrectly by pushing the tongue forcefully against the teeth when swallowing can cause the teeth to protrude. Our doctors have special techniques, habit breakers and/or tongue spurs that are used to help stop the thumb from entering into the mouth and the tongue from pushing forward.
Call and ask about orthodontic treatment.
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