Richmond Pediatric Dentist

Pacifiers and Thumb SuckingRichmond, TX

Pacifiers and thumb sucking are two common methods babies and children use to soothe themselves. The sucking reflex is strong in both babies and children, allowing them to feel secure and happy. While normal sucking is completely appropriate, constant sucking can lead to the child experiencing a number of dental issues.

Pediatric dental care is available and recommended for children who use pacifiers or suck their thumbs. According to the American Dental Association, that parents need to discourage both pacifiers and thumb sucking by the time a child’s adult teeth begin to grow in.

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Pacifiers soothe babies and children when they are being fussy. While using a pacifier is a short-term solution, children become more dependent on pacifiers the longer they use one. When a child uses pacifiers too often, the potential for them to cause dental problems in children is high. Since pacifiers are often easier to give up than thumb sucking, many professionals encourage parents to periodically ask the child to stop using a pacifier.

There should be no pressure on this question and instead, praise when the child is not using the pacifier. If a child wants to continue sucking on a pacifier by the time they reach the age of four, getting the assistance of a pediatric dental professional can help. We can help explain what will happen to a child if he or she keeps using a pacifier.

We also have specific treatment techniques that include a specific mouthpiece or possible prescription medication. There are many negative side effects that can happen to their teeth when sucking on a pacifier for too long, including having crooked teeth and overall mouth problems.

Thumb sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for babies and children that many encourage since it can benefit the infant's overall well-being. While thumb sucking can be beneficial to a child’s growth, sucking the thumb well after the first few years of childhood, it is highly likely that they will experience dental issues. The fact that pacifiers are an easier habit to break compared to thumb sucking may encourage parents to offer their child a pacifier in order to prevent or lessen their thumb sucking habit.

When children are still sucking their thumb by the age of four years old, parents can use a few different tactics to try to get them to stop. Praising them and/or offering them a special reward when they are not sucking their thumb often works best. If the child is sucking their thumb purely out of habit then putting a sock over their hand can help them be aware of when they are doing it. This option gives them a better chance at breaking their thumb sucking habit.

There are many negative side effects that come with thumb sucking, including misaligned teeth and even jaw problems. One common method for preventing thumb sucking includes using a special prescribed medicine that goes on the thumb to make it taste unpleasant. Another option is to use a special mouth appliance that prevents the child from sucking their thumb.

Regular dental appointments

It truly is essential for parents to bring their children in for regular dental appointments with a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist specializes in treating children and can help to prevent any oral health issues. Many of these issues can result from a child who uses a pacifier or participates in thumb sucking.

A pediatric dentist can also answer any questions parents have about their child’s teeth growing in, giving them peace of mind. Pediatric dental care is essential to a child’s overall good oral health.

Pediatric dental checkup

A pediatric dental checkup is recommended by the time a child’s first tooth grows in. The first visit is focused on getting the child used to the dental environment as the more comfortable a child feels at the dental office the more likely they will want to go. A pediatric dentist will look inside the child’s mouth to check for any potential problems and will discuss treatment options with the parents.

Baby bottle rot

Baby bottle rot is another word for the tooth decay that happens when a child either sucks on a bottle too long and/or consumes unhealthy liquids like fruit juices and sodas. When a child has sugary liquids pool around and settles in their teeth, they are going to eventually get various forms of tooth decay. In order to help prevent baby bottle rot, parents should periodically wipe over their child’s teeth using a soft cloth. Putting water in the bottle vs. unhealthy liquids is also a recommendation.

Dental fillings for kids

Dental fillings for kids are necessary when they have cavities. Keeping a child’s baby teeth healthy is important as this supports the healthy growth of their permanent teeth. Tooth-colored fillings are often used for kids as they are much less noticeable, allowing the child to still feel confident when they smile.

Baby root canals

Baby root canals may be necessary if losing the tooth interferes with the development of new teeth, or with a child’s ability to talk or chew. If the baby tooth is causing pain a pediatric dentist will need to decide whether to pull the tooth or perform a root canal. A full set of baby teeth supports the healthy development of a child’s adult teeth, which is why baby root canals are more common than pulling teeth.

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Grand Parkway Pediatric Dental is located at
7910 West Grand Parkway S, Ste 100
Richmond, TX

(832) 579-0960