Can Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Many people wonder how pacifiers and thumb sucking can affect their child’s teeth. In short, it is a valid worry because if these actions are prolonged it can cause oral health issues. Thumb sucking or pacifier use is one of an infant’s natural reflexes, prolonged sucking can exert force on the teeth and jaws. To learn more about common orthodontic problems caused by prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, read on from Dr. Amir Davoody, Dr. Rana Mehr, Dr. Niloufar Azami, and Dr. Adam Skrypczak at Greater Houston Orthodontics.

If your child sucks a thumb, finger, pacifier, or lips, their teeth or jaw may growth may be affected. These bone changes can actually occur as early as 18 months. The most common issues include: protruding front teeth, an open bite, or a crossbite. If you continue to notice prolonged thumb sucking or pacifier use, it is time to consult an orthodontist.

An orthodontist will be able to identify any orthodontic related issues caused by your child’s oral habit. They can also offer early treatment options to help break these habits and correct any problems it may have caused. Orthodontists are specifically trained to help jaws grow and develop in better positions. Seeing an orthodontist at a young age also has numerous benefits including: correcting harmful oral habits, guiding jaw growth, lowering the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, and guiding permanent teeth into better positions. To learn more about how an orthodontist can help your child, please contact our office.

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