Catharine A. Enright, DDS, MS
Stacy T. Piedad, DDS
Andrew D. Shoemaker, DMD
3280 Howell Mill Rd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30327 [map]
Thumb and Finger Sucking
Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comforts babies and toddlers. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4 years. The intensity of the sucking habit will determine whether or not dental or skeletal changes occur. Thumb and finger sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalignment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb or finger sucking behavior in your child, talk to Dr. Enright or Piedad.
Here are some ways to help your child outgrow thumb or fingersucking:
• Don’t scold a child when they exhibit thumb or finger sucking behavior; instead, praise them when they don’t thumb suck.
• Praise them when they refrain from the habit during difficult periods.
• Advise them to keep their thumb or finger out of their mouths while they are out in public since "it's dirty". Try to confine the sucking to bedtime only as you help your child to wean off the thumb or finger
• Place a bandage on the digit or a sock on their hand at night.
• Use a calendar and colorful stickers to help track their success in stopping their habit. A sample calendar can be found under the "Fun Stuff" tab on this website.
It is best to use a pacifier only intermittently to help calm an infant or to bide time until feeding or until they go to sleep. Do not get into the habit of allowing the child to keep the pacifier in his or her mouth for long periods of time. The ideal time to take a pacifier away is around 18 months of age. Prolonged pacifier use can produce harmful malocclusions (see Thumb and Finger Sucking section above) and tongue thrust. Usually it is much easier to take the pacifier away than a parent anticipates! Some parents find success by poking a hole in the tip or progressively cutting the nipple end of the pacifier. In any case, it should not take longer than a few days of weaning. Be there for your child and assure them that they are fine without their pacifier and that you are proud of them for giving it up. You may want to give them a stuffed animal for them to hold while they fall asleep as a substitute.
Welcome to the pediatric dental office of Drs. Catharine A. Enright,
Stacy T. Piedad and Andrew D. Shoemaker, located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, Georgia. Superior oral health is vital for a child’s development, and we’re here to help every step of the way.
We are committed to making your child’s first dental visit a pleasant and comfortable one. We understand the importance of establishing a good oral hygiene regimen early in a child’s life, and we provide children with the necessary knowledge and treatment to maintain a healthy smile.
Our mission is to provide a dental home for our patients. Along with the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics we recommend the age one dental visit so that we can educate and instruct families in proper oral health care for their children. We believe in the prevention, not just treatment, of dental disease and malocclusion in children from birth through high school age. Our goals are to make your child’s experience in our office a positive one which is free of anxiety and fear and to promote oral health which will last a lifetime.
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric Dentistry is one of the nine recognized dental specialties of the American Dental Association. Our doctors have completed two years of additional specialized training (after the required four years of dental school) to prepare them for treating a wide variety of children’s dental problems. Dr. Enright, Dr. Piedad and Dr. Shoemaker are also trained and qualified to care for patients with special health care needs. Both of our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry meaning they have not only successfully completed accredited training, but have also undergone a voluntary examination designed to continually validate the knowledge, skills & experience requisite to the delivery of quality patient care.
Everyone at Buckhead Pediatric Dentistry uses positive reinforcement and child friendly descriptions to help your child feel at ease during the dental procedure. We make individualized recommendations depending on your child’s age, ability to cooperate, and type of treatment needed. The treatments provided take the dental needs and behavioral aspects into consideration.
To learn more, visit The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
We are available to serve you, answer questions or schedule an appointment during the following hours:
Monday – Thursday:
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Monday – Thursday:
7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.