Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Breast Cancer Quiz
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
 
 
 
 
I
ntegrative Dentistry
 

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Integrative Dentistry by Flora Parsa Stay DDS. View all columns in series
For years, thumb or finger sucking was considered a sign of weak moral character, and parents were advised to break the habit forcibly. It is now generally believed that sucking is a normal reflex and helps relax and comfort the child. Thumb and finger sucking can start at a very young age, during the first few months of life. Most children stop this habit by the age of 2 to 4 years old. If the child continues to suck his thumb past the age of 5, there may be dental problem concerns as well as peer rejection and teasing.

Finger or thumb sucking can cause problems such as crooked teeth, abnormal swallowing, speech defects, a lisp and distorted facial structures. The frequency and intensity of the habit will determine what effect it will have on the teeth and face.

Some suggestions on prevention and treatment:

  • Since sucking is a form of comfort, give your child comfort and understanding rather than scolding. For the newborn, replace a sucking thumb or finger with a pacifier.
  • Reward your child when you notice he’s not sucking during a difficult situation or when he’s going to sleep. A chart with stars or stickers for days when your child was successful, trip to the park, etc.
  • A band-aid or sock on the hand, before sleep, may be a helpful way of reminding him not to suck his thumb.
  • Replace routine activities when your child is likely to suck a finger such as watching television, with other activities. Encouragement and positive rewards will prove to be more successful.
If you’re concerned that any of these problems may develop in your child, discuss it with your dentist. He or she can tell you other various methods to wean him of the habit.
Add your comment      
About The Author
Flora Stay, DDS holds a doctor of dental surgery degree from University of California, San Francisco. She is the founder of Grace Advantage "Redefining Health and Beauty". She has been a clinical instructor at U.C.L.A. school of Periodontology and......more
 
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Our Sponsor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Wellness, Intimacy, dimension!

Search   
Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.