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Thumb sucking - damage to teeth?

(12 Posts)
AlaskaHQ Tue 09-Aug-11 19:54:51

Complete panic ... I have just realised how much DS's (4.5) top teeth over hang his bottom front teeth. Obviously damage from thumb sucking (which he does occasionally in the day, and quite often whilst asleep).

I knew we had to try to wean him off thumb sucking at some point, but I was delaying it for a few months until he was settled in Reception Class. (Stressful time over the last few months for him ... me returning to work, starting at new day nursery, grandparent's funeral, other family stress, and clearly starting school in 1 months time too, so I thought it was better to wait until things were calmer.)

I thought it was best to try to tackle at a quiet/calm time. Plus, I didn't ever think it could be causing that much trouble, and also I didn't think it really mattered until 2nd teeth came through.

But I have just realised how bad it it. Almost 1cm overlap. What do I do? Obviously take him to a dentist, but does it need to be a specific type of dentist? Will it be permanent damage?

Any comments or advice really welcome.

uninspired Tue 09-Aug-11 19:58:42

We had this with DS - tried and tried to get him out of the habit but didn't crack it until he was 10 shock

He is now sporting a removable brace.

Your dentist will refer you to an Orthodontist if the adult teeth are affected.

DeWe Tue 09-Aug-11 20:30:24

I sucked my thumb until I was at secondary school. When I stopped sucking my teeth went back and I didn't need a brace.

SoupDragon Tue 09-Aug-11 20:35:28

DS1 (12) is 4 years into eyewateringly expensive orthodontic work to correct the damage to his teeth and jaws.

I was a thumbsucker and my teeth were fine. DSs orthodontist knew I had sucked it just by looking at the shape of my face/jaw.

You need to stop him sucking it now [hollow laugh]. Sadly I have no idea how to do this.

goodkate Tue 09-Aug-11 20:37:45

All my 3 DD's suck/sucked there thumbs and it's very difficult to stop.

My eldest stopped sucking her thumb at 14, but she had a brace and she has beautiful teeth. My 11 DD still sucks at night but it hasn't affected her teeth at all. My youngest will need a brace.

They do eventually stop themselves when they are ready - and a brace will sort any overhangs out.

CharlieBoo Wed 10-Aug-11 16:29:37

You need to get him to stop, I too have no idea how. My brother thumb sucked until he was 10 and his teeth were awful. 4.5 years of dental work and he has beautiful teeth but he was teased badly at school... Goofy etc. Both mine had dummies as babies, removed well before 2nd birthday. I have never really understood dummy snobs, we even have friends who are actively encouraging their baby dd to suck her thumb... It's 10 times worse than q dummy for teeth and cannot be removed!!!

Does he not already have regular dental check ups?

Acekicker Wed 10-Aug-11 20:39:27

Our dentist was pretty firm on us trying to get it stopped before adult teeth came through. We cracked it over a couple of months with a combination of stop n grow, treats and the occasional threat. We did have a couple of weeks of constant "thumb out!" seemingly every 5 minutes... We also got daytime sorted first before really tackling nights (bit like toilet training). DS is now 6 and hasn't sucked for a year or so.

crispface Wed 10-Aug-11 21:51:12

this thread has come as a bit of a revelation for me. my dd has a dummy, is almost 4 and has an overbite.

She uses the dummy for nighttime only, and i am literally as worried about it as you are OP with your child's thumb.

Dd has just started sucking her thumb in the day, and i am currently getting her to stop by telling her that if she sucks her thumb, i will take her dummies off her.

Are dummies really better than thumbs? I am panicking about both tbh smile

Muckyhighchair Wed 10-Aug-11 22:03:07

I'm 24 and still thumb suck

Best to it sooner rather than later

AlaskaHQ Thu 11-Aug-11 21:49:16

Thanks for the advice everyone.

We moved back from the USA last autumn, and he last saw a dentist there just before we moved ... just realised that is 11 months ago, so I should really get him a dentist here to see quickly as well.

Ivortheengine8 Thu 11-Aug-11 21:55:10

I still have bad teeth from sucking my thumb as do the others in my family. None of us ever had dummies and I never had a brace to correct my top front teeth and I hate smiling even now at 31 because of it!
My DD had a dummy only at night time and I know my mum hates me using it - but I don't understand dummy snobs either. To me it's the same - a soother.

spudballoo Thu 11-Aug-11 22:05:54

My 4yo (5 in Feb) has been a passionate thumb sucker from birth, he'd found his thumb in hours of being born. The dentist told me a year ago that we needd to try to sort it out, but he was very sympathetic about how hard it is to reason with a 3yo, not least because he'd been a thumb sucker as a child and had a lisp (as my son does, as a result of the thumb sucking).

His jaw has already grown around the shape of his thumb sucking, and he has an overbite. 6 weeks ago I put stop & grow on his thumb one night, and told him it would taste disgusting if he sucked it, and how important it was to stop etc.

Honestly I thought nothing would change. From then on, apart from one night, he's never sucked it. I can't believe it because that thumb was in ALL the time unless he was eating, drinking or talking...he has ear problems and I think the thumb sucking was helping with ear ache, seriously it was non-stop.

Anyway, worth a go. Couple of quid from Boots.

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