If you don’t pay close attention, unabated thumb-sucking or improper baby bottle feeding can cause dental problems in your child. Babies suck any object placed in their mouths—pacifiers, fingers, thumbs—to ensure breast feeding; it’s a reflex intended to provide them deep emotional and physical security. Beyond the age of five, however, when permanent teeth start setting in, a pacifier becomes no more than a crutch.
When the child starts to walk, pacifiers should be limited to bedtime, or to calm an upset child. Beyond the age of five, however, unless regular visits are made to your local Kelowna dental centre, the thumb-sucking habit, when not mitigated, can cause teeth to protrude, creating an overbite. Upper and lower jaws can also form out of alignment.