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BeauTIFFul23
BeauTIFFul23 asks:
Q:

My 4 year old sucks on his food, what does this mean?

My son recently turned 4, but since in his age of late 2- early 3 until now, he has been sucking his food. He weight gain is okay, but what bothers me is his brother that's 13 mos younger is always weights 4-5.lbs more than him every 3-6 mos for health screenings. His teeth are almost starting to decay because of this eating habit. I really need to know to do about this before it causes any serious problems.
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Physical Health, Nutrition
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Wayne Yankus
May 8, 2012
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What the Expert Says:

Start with a discussion with your pediatrician and your dentist.  His jaw will only grow as he uses it. If he is not chewing, he is not using it as most 4 year olds do. Try some re-feeding exercises such as giving him one item at a time or asking your pediatrician about a swallow center at you child development center.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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