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14 year old with finger sucking habit. Concerned about the teeth

hi I am a 14 year old girl who has been sucking her fingers since she was in her mums tummy.. i cant seem to stop and i have tried everything.. no creams can make me stop because i just seem to suck the stuff off. and hugging pillows or blankets doesnt give me the satisfaction of my fingers.. im really worried for my teeth .A dentist has told me before that the way i suck my teeth isnt harming the way they are.. but i still want to stop and i just dont know how. My fingers sooth me and keep me calm so i can sleep in a way nothing else can. i only do it at night and when im really tired.. please help
Asked On : Sun, 24 Feb 2013
Answers:  5 Views:  64
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Dentist 's  Response
hi and welcome,

Finger sucking and thumb sucking habit is very injurious as dental health is concerned.
Although thumb sucking is a normal habit it causes serious teeth problems if it continues long after the eruption of permanent teeth.
Prolonged finger sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth and bite problems.

You may also develop speech problems or problems with swallowing properly.

Protrusion and displacement of front teeth are usual results of thumb sucking. This can affect your facial appearance and cause further emotional problems.

you can follow few steps to avoid the habit :
Ask your family member to carefully remove your fingers from mouth during sleep
Don't be in anxiety or fear. If you have any emotional problems, or under stress and you need comforting, you may need to resolve those issues first before successfully stoping the habit.

Use a finger sucking guard. - your dentist might suggest the use of special devices to stop thumb sucking, called finger guards.
A finger or thumb guard is a device with a plastic cover of the thumb that is attached to wrist. . Treatment with thumb guards usually lasts four weeks and helps to stop thumb sucking succesfully.

i hope this helps ,
take care
Answered: Sun, 24 Feb 2013
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Dentist Dr. Neha Gupta's  Response
Thanks for sharing your concern with us
Most children stop sucking on thumbs, pacifiers or other objects on their own between 2 and 4 years of age. No harm is done to their teeth or jaws until permanent teeth start to erupt. The only time it might cause concern is if it goes on beyond 6 to 8 years of age. At this time, it may affect the shape of the oral cavity or dentition.
Aside from the damaging physical aspects of thumb sucking, there are also additional risks, which unfortunately, are present at all ages. These include increased risk of infection from communicable diseases, due to the simple fact that non-sterile thumbs are covered with infectious agents.
visit the oral surgeon as soon as possible and plan the treatment according to that.
You can contact me again directly through my profile.
Dr Neha Gupta
Answered: Mon, 25 Feb 2013
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Dentist Dr. Akanksha Sharma's  Response
It is good to know that you are willing to break the finger sucking habit. This itself goes out to show that you are ready to try new measures for the same. The best option is to see your dentist, who may recommend inserting a device in your mouth that prevents sucking. These oral appliances go by names like "palatal bar" and "crib" and come in fixed and removable versions. These shall help you restrain from your habit and once you feel you have a good control over it, these appliances can be removed.
Hope this advice helps you out with your problem.
All the best!
Have a good day :)
Warm Regards,
Dr. Akanksha Sharma
Answered: Mon, 25 Feb 2013
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Dentist Dr. Anshumala Singh's  Response
dear friend
thanks for sharing your concern.

digit sucking is defined as placement of thumb or one or more fingers in varying depths into the oral cavity.

a number of theories have been put forward to explain why digit sucking
freudian theory,benjamins theory,oral drive theory of sears and wise,psychological aspect,and learned pattern.

more or less every theory says that digit sucking arises from the rooting or placing reflex seen in all mammalian is the movement of infants head and tongue towards an object touching his/her cheek.the object is usually the mothers breast but may also be a finger or pacifier.

this rooting reflex disappears in normal infants around 7 to 8 months of age.

children deprived of parents love,care and affection are believed to resort to this habit.
also an important thing to be noted in your case is that,digit sucking is merely a learned pattern with no underlying cause.

clinically significant sucking occurs between 3 to 6 and half years of age.any sucking beyond this age should alert the patient to the underlying psychological aspect of the habit.a psychologist might have to be consulted.

digit sucking can lead to following changes in your labial tipping of maxillary teeth(front teeth),proclined front teeth,anterior open bite,narrow maxillary arch(upper jaw),open bite,hypotonic lips etc.

now in your case your dentist must have noticed the changes in profile which can be corrected after you stop digit sucking.

i have very well explained you the causes for your you should just know to overcome it and i m sure you will attain success in this.

you have to sit in front of large mirror and suck your finger same time observe your self in mirror.i would suggest you to do this when you are doing something very enjoyable like watching your favourite program.
i mean you have to leave the program in between and sit in front of mirror and try sucking your finger.everyday you have to do this till the day you stop and say....ah!wt am i doing and leave it?
remember this requires your will and desire to get rid of your habit.

simultaneously you visit your dentist for habit breaking appliances.both removable type and fixed type appliances are available
.this aids to intercept the also includes bandaging the fingers.

other things that could be done is use bitter tasting and foul smelling preparations placed on digits when you want to suck them like pepper dissolved in volatile medium.asafetida etc.

and friend if nothing helps seek your psychologist help too.hope this helps.i am sure you will leave your finger sucking habit very soon.where there is will there is a way.

Answered: Sun, 24 Feb 2013
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Dentist, Implantology Dr. Gaurav Goel's  Response
You need to stop the habit. Regardless of Whatever your dentist has told you earlier, the habit will have negative effects on your dental and general health. Ask your dentist to put a fixed habit breaking appliance in your mouth. The appliance can be removed after you stop the habit.
Answered: Mon, 25 Feb 2013
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