You might see thumb sucking, dummies and braces as three stages of your child’s development but if nobody ever warned you of the connection, you might not know you are setting your child up for problems in the future by allowing your baby to continue this habit.  If nobody ever said, as your little angel popped his thumb, or dummy, into his mouth, “Oh how adorable but he will damage his jaw and teeth and need braces if you don’t stop that now,” you will not be aware there might be unnecessary problems to come. But now your little angel has now grown into an angst-filled, precocious teenager hiding away, too embarrassed to smile, posting sulky looking selfies on Facebook,  which don’t win any  popularity contests with their friends who pout and grin unselfconsciously at the camera.  All’s not lost. You can help your teenager by bringing them along to the Straight Teeth Suite in Loughborough

Modern braces can, over time, fix many problems and no longer resemble the train-tracks of yesteryear when we all looked like a weird version of Frankenstein.  Depending on the specific problem, be it crooked teeth or a gappy smile, a narrow arch or a poor bite, dentists now have the solution to correct the problem with a selection of clear ceramic braces, hidden braces, fitted to the reverse of the teeth, or aligners.  You can reassure your teenager no one need know, and they can go to school without fearing they will be the butt of anyone’s joke.

However, let us rewind for a moment.   You can help from a much earlier stage in your child’s development by stopping thumb sucking and by never introducing your child to a dummy in the first place. You may have seen pictures of unborn infants contentedly sucking their thumb in the mother’s womb, but this is a habit young children should have grown out of before they attend kindergarten at around the age of three years old.  If this habit continues later into childhood when the adult teeth start to come through, there is a high risk of malocclusion, the imperfect positioning of teeth, due to the pressure of the constant sucking of dummies, thumbs or fingers.  In the worst case scenario, the shape of the jaw can be seriously damaged by sucking with the negative pressure altering the shape of the arch causing problems with the bite resulting in surgery and braces to correct the problem.

Fortunately, most problems with your teenager’s teeth can be remedied by your dentist. Teenager’s see this as a great source of comfort amid the stress and anxiety of their lives.  They are under enough pressure at school these days with their image, let alone education, friends and family. Parents, above all else, need to help their children to feel good about themselves and never to feel a social outcast. The goal is not to strive for perfection but to celebrate how fabulous you child is.  The gift of straight, healthy teeth is one way to restore or build confidence and self-esteem. For a FREE consultation  with your teenager, make an appointment at the Straight Teeth Suite in Loughborough.

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