Handling Pacifier Use and Thumb Sucking Habits Correctly

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Sucking is a natural reflex for infants; they even suck their fingers in the womb. Thumb sucking or pacifiers help babies to feel secure and happy as they learn and grow.

Between the ages of two and four, however, thumb sucking and pacifier use should begin to decline. This is because it can create prolonged misalignment issues with your child’s primary teeth, as well as lead to changes in the roof of the mouth.

After age two, you can start limiting the use of a pacifier, and by age four, your child may be fully weaned. Peer pressure or the distraction of exploring one’s surroundings may help your child to naturally stop their sucking habits. To discourage thumb sucking, you can try bandaging your son or daughter’s thumbs or placing socks over their hands at night.

If your child finds a way around these practices or if they are not practical, Dr. Jessie Hunter or your pediatrician may have other solutions, such as fitting your child with a customized mouth appliance or providing bad-tasting medication to coat the thumb.

If you’d like help brainstorming other ideas to help your child in Allen, Texas, just give Allen Pediatric Dentistry a call at 972-535-8169. We’re here to support you and your child’s smile!