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Thumb sucking ’causes dental damage’

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Babies should not be encouraged to suck their thumbs.

Parents have been warned their children could be causing damage to their teeth through sucking their thumbs.

Psychologist Dr Pat Spungin told the Telegraph that it is normal for extremely young children to suck their thumb as it can be comforting. However, this can become a problem as teeth start to come through, as the constant pressure of sucking can mean they are not straight.

As a result, parents are urged to wean their children off thumb sucking as soon as they can. The best way to do this, Dr Spungin noted, is to make it a phased process, starting with just at home, then just before bed and so on.

Elsewhere, Cosmetic Dentistry Guide recently reported research carried out as part of the Australian Child Health Survey showed that 50 per cent of children under six in the country have signs of tooth decay.

Indeed, the report concluded that parents in Australia need to ensure their children are taking better care of their teeth.

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