Pacifiers and Thumb and Finger Sucking

Patient Resources:

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: http://www.mychildrensteeth.org

American Board of Pediatric Dentistry: http://www.abpd.org

American Dental Association Desktop Site: http://www.mouthhealthy.org

American Dental Association Mobile Site: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/?device=Mobile

American Academyof Pediatrics: http://www2.aap.org/oralhealth/SOPDOH.html

Healthy Smiles Guidebook

In general, I would discourage thumb sucking or pacifiers after the age of 4 because they may lead to overcrowded and crooked teeth, as well as bite problems. In some cases, the upper front teeth may tip toward the lip or not come in properly if thumb, finger, or pacifier sucking continues after the age of 4.

From six months to age 3, your child may have sore gums when her teeth erupt. Many parents use a clean teething ring, a cool spoon, or a cold wet washcloth. You also can rub the baby's gums with a clean finger.

A mouth appliance may be effective on children if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive.

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Gary D. Sabbadini, D.D.S.

1500 Tara Hills Drive, Suite 100 Pinole, CA 94564