Thumb, finger, lip or pacifier sucking is normal and natural in infants and young children. However, these habits, when prolonged beyond the age of 5, can adversely affect the health of your child’s teeth and jaw.
What To Do
Stop the habit by the time the permanent teeth start erupting to prevent adverse effects (age 5).
See the orthodontist if you notice the following any time after 5 years old:
-Buck teeth: front teeth that stick out, making it hard to close the mouth or lips. This can create troublesome and embarrassing speech. Buck teeth are also more vulnerable to potential trauma.
-Open bite: a type of malocclusion where the upper and lower teeth don’t touch when the jaw is closed. An open bite can contribute to serious health issues such as swallowing, speech and/or airway problems.
-Crossbite: also known as an underbite. This can cause uneven jaw growth and an asymmetric face in the adult if not remedied as a child.
If you have concerns, seeing the orthodontist is the best way to put your mind at ease. At SuperSmile Orthodontics located in Las Vegas, Nevada, our skilled orthodontist, Dr. Brian Chamberlain can help correct harmful oral habits, guide your child’s jaw growth, help lower the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth and eventually guide permanent teeth into correct positions, even at such a young age. We invite you to call 702-645-5100 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chamberlain. It’s worth a visit to help your child’s smile develop properly!