Bad habits

Thumb sucking and dummy sucking

Thumbsucking / dummy sucking
Psychologists say that prolong non nutritive sucking is connected with the emotional absence of the mother.|
Thumbsucking / dummy sucking
These habits should stop between 2 to 4 years old.|
Thumbsucking / dummy sucking
Psychologists say that prolong non nutritive sucking is connected with the emotional absence of the mother.|
Thumbsucking / dummy sucking
These habits should stop between 2 to 4 years old.|

Thumb sucking and dummy sucking are natural habits comforting to children and inspiring them a sense of security and warmth. Psychologists say that prolong non nutritive sucking is connected with the emotional absence of the mother. Also, if a mother does not breast feed long enough her child, then the child will find the comfort he/she is looking for to sucking on a finger or the dummy. However, the mother needs to be aware that, if either thumb or soother sucking is prolonged over the age of 2-4 years it may lead to orthodontic problems such as:

  • Openbite (a gap between the upper and lower front teeth)
  • Crossbite (narrowing of the upper jaw)

Openbite results in stuttering at speech, flaring out of upper front teeth while crossbite may result in dental crowding and facial asymmetry.

Start helping your child abandon such habits at the age of 2 years. Never embarrass your child about the habit or compare with other children. When the child reaches a good level of maturity and he/she is ready to interact with you ,then it's the time to put limits in the duration of the use of the dummy and /or replace the comfort from the dummy with the comfort from tangible toys, storytelling and longer presence of the mother at bedtime. In the case of finger sucking keep your child busy with activities that occupy both hands. However, If your child continues thumb and dummy sucking beyond age 4 we may help by placing in his mouth a fixed oral appliance to prevent him from thumb or dummy sucking and help him/her abandon such habit straight away. Important note: These appliances are placed when the child consents to their placement and not by force, otherwise the result may be failure.

Related article: How to curb finger or thumb sucking

Bruxism

Many times young children grind their teeth during their sleep.We don't really know the etiology of this habit and there is not much we can do about it. However if the child continues the habit after the eruption of the permanent teeth and these teeth have signs of attrition/flattening of their occlusal surfaces then a mouthquard can be fabricated and given to the child to wear during sleep.This mouthquard is a plastic transparent removable cover of the teeth which  protects the enamel from wearing off. Note that most times as the child grows up and reaches teenage years this habit slows down and may disappear completely.

Nail picking

The habit of the child to pick with his nail his/hers gums.This habit can cause recession (downward movement) of the gums and uncovering of the root with subsequent sensitivity and gingivitis of the affected area.

Age one
First visit to the dentist at the latest|
Brushing teeth
Brushing teeth from age one = A treasure for your child's teeth|
Diet:
No more than 3 sugary snacks per day|
Dummy sucking
Better stop between 2-4 years old|
Thumb sucking
If your child is above 4 years old and is still thumb sucking, then we can help you|
Prevention
Dental prevention starts from pregnancy|
First tooth
First baby tooth erupts between 6/10 months|
Juices and soft drinks
Frequent consumption of juices and soft drinks can destroy your teeth fast|
Decay
Dental decay is the most frequent childhood disease|
Fluoride treatment
Fluoride treatments in the dental office twice a year can decrease dental decay by 40%!|
Sealants
Sealants can save the molar teeth from dental decay|
Fluoride
Fluoride causes no harm in the correct dose|
Mouth breathing
Chronic mouth breathing can cause serious orthodontic problems|
First exam
First orthodontic exam at age 6-7 years old|
Orthodontic treatment
Orthodontic treatment is for all ages|
Phobia
Dental phobia can be managed professionally|
Special needs
Children with special needs can find help in our office|