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My Child Sucks Their Lip. Is That A Problem?

Posted on 4/15/2024 by Weo Admin
Young toddler boy smilingWhen children are young, their sucking reflex is very important. Most babies suck on something to soothe themselves, such as thumbs, fists, edges of blankets, or even toys. While this behavior is normal for babies, as they grow into toddlerhood and early childhood, sucking thumbs, pacifiers, or lips can be problematic. Here are some reasons you may want to encourage your child to kick the habit.

Children's Teeth

Most babies are born without any teeth at all, and gradually during the first 18 months of life, teeth start to appear. During early childhood, your child will start to lose their baby teeth, and their permanent teeth will start to grow in or erupt.

This is the time when your child's habit can become a problem. Once your child's permanent teeth start to come in, if they continue to suck their lips, they can damage their new teeth.

Why Lip Sucking Is A Problem

As a child continues to suck on their lip or other objects, they move their permanent teeth backward a little at a time. If a child sucks their thumb or pacifier, they may push their teeth inward rather than outward. Either way, when permanent teeth are moved out of position, they can cause problems with a child's bite.

Malocclusions- or bite problems- occur in 75% of all children, but in many cases, the bite problems aren't severe enough to require treatment. However, when children suck their lips for a long time, they could have a malocclusion that requires treatment.

How to Help

If you have a child that sucks their lips, one of the best courses of treatment is positive reinforcement. When your child begins to suck their lip, gently remind them to stop, so they don't hurt their teeth. You can give the child a small reward if they can continue to resist lip-sucking. You also might want to try putting something on the bottom lip, such as gloss or wax, that doesn't taste good. If you need more tips, a dentist should be able to provide you with more information.

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Wichita, KS 67101-9619


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Blog - Wichita, KS • Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry
At Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Healy created this informative blog to assist with educating the community about various topics of pediatric dentistry.
Tiny Teeth Pediatric Dentistry, 3933 N. Maize Road, Suite 200 Wichita, KS 67101 - (316) 202-9629 - - 5/22/2024 - Related Phrases: Pediatric Dentist Wichita KS -