Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Where is Thumbkin?

Where is Thumbkin? Possibly one of the most popular children’s nursery rhymes of all time. It is uncertain who wrote the words, but according to Parents magazine, versions date back to the 1700’s in England.  Although the author of the song may not be known, one thing that is, most parents become anxious when they see that their little guy or gal has a thumb or finger habit.  While thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children and may help them to self soothe, once the permanent teeth start to appear it may cause problems with the growth and alignment of teeth.

Most children will stop or break the habit themselves between the ages of two and four. This is good as the permanent teeth typically have yet to make an appearance.  However, some children may need some extra help to break this habit. While many parents try all the classic approaches to helping their child, they do not realize that there is an easy solution to permanently breaking the habit.     

Drs. Aleman & Sternstein can make a special appliance that will remind the child that the thumb or finger should not be in the mouth.  This special “reminder” is pain free and typically in place for 3 months and then removed.  

Drs. Aleman & Sternstein will continue to monitor the child every 6-12 months or until the optimum time for orthodontic treatment (if it is needed). Sometimes finger or thumb habits can create a longer treatment for patients if the habit is not corrected early enough.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children see an orthodontist by age 7. If your child has a habit, and is ready to break it or the permanent teeth are starting to appear it is wise to visit the office before age 7.  As with all treatment in our office, you do not need a referral. If you have tried all the other options or just wish to have a consult to see if your child could benefit from our “reminder” call today to schedule an appointment 217-546-9600.