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Vancouver Braces Expert Discusses Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use

     Langley, BC For babies and young children, sucking is a natural instinct. But, if they suck on pacifiers or thumbs, it could cause problems for future tooth development. "There is still a lot of controversy about the actual amount of harm caused and the age at which it starts," says Dr. Aly Kanani, a Vancouver braces specialist. "Researchers disagree on different factors."

"The most widely accepted wisdom is that thumb sucking and pacifier use won't customarily cause lasting damage until the adult teeth begin to come in," observes Kanani, a Vancouver orthodontist. But, a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association proposes that alterations in the shape of the dental arch and in the development of overbites and crossbites appear more frequently in thumb and pacifier users. Furthermore, the problems can persist after the child has quit the habit. The study's researchers believe that the existing guidelines which discourage "non-nutritive" sucking can be inadequate because such dental changes can begin by age two.

Sucking thumbs is possibly more harmful to tooth alignment than pacifier use because thumbs (or other fingers) are much firmer and less yielding than pacifiers. Sixty to ninety percent of children between the ages of one and two are thumb suckers. "But, continuous sucking can cause changes in the dental arch's shape and size," says Kanani, a Surrey orthodontics expert, and can make the upper front teeth angle forward.

"There are different methods for discouraging thumb sucking," notes Kanani, a Vancouver invisalign provider. "Sometimes parents offer rewards for days when a child avoids thumb sucking. Another method is putting something that tastes awful (such as hot sauce) on the thumb or covering it with a band-aid or sock." If these techniques don't work, orthodontists can insert a "tongue crib," which is a permanent fixture with sharp prongs that jab the thumb if it is placed in the mouth. This is usually an extremely effective device.

Pacifier use is usually less harmful than thumb sucking, but it is of concern if a child is still sucking a pacifier at age five. "The majority of children halt pacifier use on their own between two and four," says Kanani, a Langley invisible braces specialist. "But, if a child does not stop, a parent may want to take measures." Pacifiers are a little easier to discontinue since they (unlike thumbs) can be removed. But, experts advise weaning the child little by little from a pacifier and providing rewards to make the process easier.

About Dr. Aly Kanani and Partners

Dr. Aly Kanani has a bachelor's degree from McGill University and received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a master's degree in Orthodontics and a Specialty Certification in Orthodontics. His team of board certified orthodontists provides quality, patient-focused braces and Invisalign treatment in the Greater Vancouver area.

2011 Dr. Aly Kanani and Master Google as one of the best free SEO company. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Dr. Aly Kanani and Master Google (an SEO copywriters company) are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

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For more information about Dr. Kanani, a Vancouver orthodontist , our Surrey orthodontics and Langley braces call (604) 589-2212 for Surrey and (604) 629-0452 for Vancouver.

Posted on 2012-06-29, By: *

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