The Prevention and Treatment Of Gum DiseaseThe Prevention and Treatment Of Gum Disease

About Me

The Prevention and Treatment Of Gum Disease

My name is Hal Martin and at my last dental checkup my dentist told me that I had gum disease. My dentist gave me instructions about what I needed to do so that the gum disease wouldn't get worse and turn into periodontal disease. When I returned home, I immediately began learning everything I could about gum disease by reading dental articles online. I sure didn't want it to get worse so I knew that I needed to take action right away. In this blog, you'll learn all about gum disease including what it is, the causes and how you can help prevent it. I wanted to write this blog to get the word out to as many people about gum disease to hopefully help others have healthy gums.


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Thumb-Sucking: The Dangers Of It And How To Help A Child Stop

Many children often develop the habit of sucking their thumbs, and this can be a hard habit for them to break because it is so convenient. As a parent of a thumb-sucking child, you may have concerns, and you should. Prolonged thumb-sucking can lead to problems with the child's teeth and bite, and these problems will probably require dental and orthodontic services to correct them.

What Problems Can This Lead To?

When a child routinely sucks on his or her thumb daily, this habit could lead to misalignment of the teeth, and this often results in the development of an open bite. An open bite refers to when the upper and lower teeth do not touch, even when a person's mouth is closed.

These problems typically happen only when children continue sucking their thumbs after getting permanent teeth. The majority of kids that suck their thumbs break the habit by the age of four or five, which is good because permanent teeth usually begin erupting by the age of six or seven.

If your child is starting to get permanent teeth and is still sucking his or her thumb regularly, you should speak to your pediatric dentist about this to find out if there are ways to help the child break the habit.

How Can Parents Help Children Stop This Habit?

While it often looks cute when a small baby sucks his or her thumb, the cuteness usually ends when you begin noticing that this is a habit that is not going away. From the time your child is young, there are things you can do that may help him or her stop this habit, and here are some ideas:

  • Find other ways to provide comfort – Many kids do this because they feel nervous or anxious about something. If you can find out what the child is nervous about, you might be able to address the problem, which may help the thumb-sucking to end. You could also look for other ways to comfort the child, such as giving him or her a new blanket or stuffed animal.
  • Place something over the thumbs – Some parents will place bandages over the child's thumbs, or they may use things such as socks or mittens. By doing this, the child will either not be able to do this, or he or she will not like the way it feels when it is done.
  • Get a dental mouthpiece – Another option is to ask the dentist for a mouthpiece. If a child wears this, he or she will not be able to perform this habit because the mouthpiece will get in the way.

It can take time for children to break this habit, and by the time some kids stop, the damage will already be done. If this happens with your child, you should understand that the problems created can be fixed through dental procedures.

What Procedures Will The Child Need?

If the child develops an open bite from this habit, your dentist may suggest visiting an orthodontist. Braces are often helpful for closing this gap and moving the jawbones into correct position and alignment, but this process can take a lot of time if the open bite is severe.

In some cases, braces will not be enough to correct the problem, and surgery might be necessary. Surgery for this problem often involves moving the entire jaw and holding it in place with plates and screws.

As a parent, you may want to talk to your child's dentist or a place like Dentistry For Children & Adolescents to learn more about how you can help prevent other dental problems. If you can find a way to do this, you may be able to prevent major oral problems inside your child's mouth.