Pacifiers & Thumb Sucking

Dr. Peter Gurr and Dr. Scott Jensen offer treatments to break pacifier and thumb-sucking habits in children in order to protect your child’s smile and oral health. We invite you to contact The Dentists for Kids at (210)696-2563 to learn more about our treatments for pacifier and thumb-sucking habits and to schedule your consultation with our caring pediatric dentists in San Antonio, Texas.

Finger and thumb sucking is a natural, instinctive habit for infants, and they often derive a sense of comfort and security from sucking on a thumb or pacifier. While most children will stop sucking before age 4, some children may continue. Sucking the thumbs or pacifiers after age 5 increases the risk of a child damaging their teeth and developing damaging dental conditions. Some of the problems that may develop due to pacifier and thumb-sucking include:

  • Jaw misalignment
  • Tooth decay
  • Roof narrowing
  • Slanting teeth
  • Mouth sores

There are several solutions that our pediatric dentists may recommend if your child persists in sucking his or her fingers or a pacifier. Some of these solutions are:

  • Having our pediatric dentists speak with the child about stopping
  • Using an ADA-recommended oral appliance to make it difficult for the child to engaging in sucking behavior
  • Implementing a reward system for when the child does not suck his or her thumb or use a pacifier
  • Wrapping thumbs in soft cloths or mittens at night

Remember, breaking pacifier and thumb-sucking habits takes time, patience, and encouragement. If you have concerns about your child’s thumb or pacifier sucking habits, please feel free to contact our office. We will be happy to help you schedule an appointment with our pediatric specialists.