Thumb sucking is a natural habit that many children have early in their lives. Some even begin in the womb. It’s a reflex that generally provides a feeling of contentment and security. Over time the habit will lessen and eventually disappear. In most children, this happens between the ages of two and four. However, some children suck their thumb into the school years, which can cause a problem when adult teeth start to erupt. “Buck teeth” is one example.
A pediatric dentist in Jacksonville, FL, as you find at Weaver & Stratton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, can provide tips to help your son or daughter kick the habit. We’ll share them here.
The first thing to keep in mind is that this is natural, and there’s no need to take drastic steps. In short, keep calm. Your best bet is to reinforce the positive rather than focus on the negative. Praise your child when they don’t suck their thumb, instead of making an issue of when they do.
Your pediatric dentist will also tell you that you can help break the habit by putting a Band-Aid or sock on their thumb at night as a reminder not to suck. Make sure to let them know it’s not a punishment but a reminder.
Creating a diversion when your child sucks their thumb can help eliminate the habit, as will teaching coping skills if you find they suck when they are anxious or stressed. Rewarding your child when they resist the impulse is also a positive way to help them overcome thumb sucking.
Some children have concerns about going to the dentist and will feel high levels of anxiety at the thought. It’s not uncommon, but luckily there are several ways in which a pediatric dentist can help ease your child’s mind about treatment. Our staff at Weaver & Stratton Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics will discuss these techniques here.
One of the keys to assuaging your child’s fears about pediatric dental care in St. Johns County is explaining the process. The fear of the unknown can be potent, but when a young patient is told what will happen and has the chance to ask all of their questions about treatment, the stress is eased.
Pediatric dental care is generally delivered in a kid-friendly clinic focused on putting patients at ease and making them feel welcome and relaxed during every visit.
Dentists who deliver pediatric care use special approaches to providing local analgesia and dental sedation to patients. They can also offer treatment under general anesthesia if required.
Ensuring that your child is comfortable with dental visits is the primary key to securing a lifetime of oral health and wellbeing for them.
When it comes to dental care, good habits are learned early in life. Brushing and flossing is one of the most effective ways to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Your pediatric dentist in Jacksonville, FL, may make recommendations about using fluoride toothpaste. Here are a few reasons why this advice is a good idea for your child.
Why Fluoride Matters
Fluoride enhances toothpaste, making it a strong defense against tooth decay. Historically, it effectively changed how people brushed their teeth. Dentists and researchers found that fluoride-enhanced toothpaste assisted in many ways:
Re-mineralization: Fluoride strengthened tooth enamel and helped to re-mineralize teeth. When applied to a damaged area of a tooth, it attracted minerals like calcium to assist in rebuilding the teeth.
Antibacterial Properties: Fluoride stimulates the production of fluorapatite, a type of enamel that is resistant to acid and bacteria. Cavities and gingivitis form due to the growth of bacteria, so fluoride actively counters their development.
Fluoride also adds a protective layer to teeth that prevent microbes and bacteria from adhering to the surface. This lessens the likelihood for bacteria to eat away at the teeth and cause cavities.
When speaking with your pediatric dentist, ask about recommended toothpaste brands. You will find that many of their answers will refer to fluoride-enhanced toothpaste.