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Many children suck on their thumbs, and many adults think it’s cute. However, our Niles Dental team is here to tell you that this habit can destroy your child’s smile, and it’s best to keep them from doing it. Thumbsucking tends to warp the development of the mouth as well as cause misaligned and crooked teeth. So, if you want your child to grow into the strong, healthy, and beautiful smile they deserve, Dr. Raymond R. Niles recommends doing the following things:

· Praise your child for not sucking their thumb. This will help them feel accomplished and successful, which will most likely encourage them to stop the habit.
· If your child sucks their thumb because they feel nervous or insecure, do your best to eliminate the source that is causing the anxiety.
· Come up with a plan to stop the habit. You and your child can decide on a goal to work toward and if they meet that goal, they can pick a reward.
· Have your dentist encourage the child by explaining why the habit is so dangerous. If the dentist shows your child pictures of a warped and distorted mouth, they might want to stop sucking their thumb.
· Wrap a bandage around the thumb at night to remind your child not to bring it to their mouth.
· Coat the thumb in bitter medication prescribed to you by your dentist or family doctor. This will help your child dislike the taste of their thumb.

For more information about the thumbsucking habit and the dangers associated with it, please feel free to call 703.494.4101 and talk to our caring dental team. We are happy to help you in any way we can if you just call our office today. We look forward to hearing from you!