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Archive for June, 2019

How to Prevent & Fix Buck Teeth, Overbite & Other Negative Effects from Thumbsucking

Smile Reef

So many times babies have a hard time calming themselves down when they are upset. As a parent when you have a baby that finally learns how to self-soothe it is such a fantastic day! Parents do not normally care if their baby learns to soothe by sucking their thumb or fingers, using a pacifier, or with a special toy or blanket. They are just so excited that their baby does not always need their help to calm down they do not matter what the tactic is. As time goes on parents start to have concerns about whether their child’s self-soothing methods will cause any harm. One question that we get here at Smile Reef is if thumb sucking will damage their child’s teeth. Today we want to dive into this issue with you.

Does Thumbsucking Cause Damage to Teeth?

So does thumb sucking cause damage to your teeth? The answer is kind of tricky to give a straight yes or no to. Not all thumb sucking causes damage but some thumb sucking does cause damage. If your child simply has their thumb in their mouth but is just passively holding it in their mouth it does not typically cause any damage. If your child is actively sucking on their thumb with a lot of motion though it is more likely to cause damage to their baby teeth. If your child sucks their thumb for a prolonged amount of time it is more likely to cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of teeth. Sometimes it also causes to the roof of your child’s mouth.

Pacifier to Replace Thumb

If your baby sucks their thumb you will eventually need to break the habit. Some parents prefer to break the habit right away. If you want to break the habit when your child is a baby you may want to try to transition your child over to a pacifier. Sucking on a pacifier provides your baby with the same comfort that sucking their thumb does. The advantage to switching over to a pacifier is that getting your child to stop sucking a pacifier is easier than getting your child to stop sucking their thumb.

How to Stop Kids from Sucking Their Thumbs

The American Dental Association reports that most children stop sucking their thumb on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. As kids get older they spend more time playing friends and exploring the world around them and no longer feel the need to suck their thumb. Sometimes their friends help provide positive peer pressure that will help your child stop sucking their thumb. If your child is 4 years old and still is sucking their thumb you will want to help them break the habit. As you start this process we have a few tips for you. First we recommend that you focus on the positive instead of the negative during this process. Finding time to praise your child for not sucking their thumb in circumstances when they normally would is more effective than scolding your child when they are sucking their thumb. Offering rewards for your child is also something that is known to work well. Sometimes your child has a really hard time not sucking their thumb. You can try a bandage or a thumb on their thumb to see if that helps. There are products on the market that can help with this as well. Many parents have luck with an ointment that they put on their child’s thumb that makes their thumb taste bad.

Pediatric Dental Care

You can bring your child to us here at Smile Reef for some help too. We can talk to your child and explain what can happen if they continue sucking their thumb. Sometimes having someone else talk to your child is more helpful than doing it yourself. We can also examine and evaluate their teeth development and overall oral health to catch problems early. Contact us today!

Things to Know About Pediatric Dentistry; Tools for Kids, Children’s Dental Specialist & More

Smile Reef

There are some people that think that teeth are just teeth. They are not too keen on getting to the dentist for fear of what might come from the appointment. The interesting thing is that if everyone were to get to the dentist on a regular basis and kept good care of their oral health the appointment at the dentist would be uneventful. There are lots of dentists you can choose from and one of the specialty dentists is a pediatric dentist. There are some people that think because teeth are just teeth they don’t need to see a specialist for their child. This is a mistake when you have a child that may be nervous or feeling uneasy about their dental care. There are lots of benefits for a child when they go to a pediatric dentist rather than a regular dentist. Smile Reef outlines why you should take your child to a pediatric dentist.

Child Friendly Dentistry Tools

One of the things that you will notice about a child as opposed to an adult is that everything is smaller. This means that their mouth is smaller and their baby teeth are smaller as well. Although the adult equipment and instruments may work in a child’s mouth, that is not what they were intended for. The pediatric dentist has smaller equipment that fits well in a child’s mouth and can make the process of cleaning, exams and treatment more enjoyable and less uncomfortable. If the equipment that is being used is too large it can cause enough discomfort that the child will feel uneasy about going back.

Child Friendly Dentist Environment

If you go to your regular dentist to have your check up or any other dental care you will see that the walls have some charts about dental hygiene, tooth decay and more. The problem is that this is not an environment that will allow a child to relax and stay calm when they are about to have their exam. In a pediatric office they often have fun and inviting pictures, décor and other things that allow a child to keep their mind off of what is about to happen. The more relaxed a child is the easier the appointment will go.

Specialist in Children’s Teeth & Oral Health

When you are an adult the types of problems that your teeth and your body have are different than a child. The oral health of a child has different issues that need special attention. The great thing about going to a pediatric dentist is that the dentist has specific training on kids teeth and gums and what are some of the common troubles. They can get to a diagnosis faster and have a better understanding about what is needed. Children often have adult teeth and baby teeth and sometimes the treatment for a baby tooth will be different than a tooth that is going to be permanent.

Pediatric Dental Care

Smile Reef can help to calm your child and create a soothing environment for your child during their dental care. Call us today!