Do Children Suck Their Thumbs?
Children suck on things because sucking is one of a baby's natural
instincts. Sucking makes them feel secure and content, and may induce
drowsiness. Prolonged thumbsucking (or pacifier sucking) interferes
with the proper growth of the mouth and the alignment of the teeth.
This improper development, if not corrected, will change the appearance
of the child's face.
When Should Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?
Children should have ceased sucking between the ages of 2 to 4.
If you are having trouble breaking your child's habit, try to:
- Comfort him if he is feeling insecure. Sometimes children suck
their thumb for a sense of security.
- Instead of scolding your child for thumbsucking, praise him
when he doesn't suck his thumb, especially during difficult periods.
- Explain to older children the dangers of thumbsucking and involve
them in choosing the method to break the habit.
If you need help stopping your child's thumbsucking habit, we can
provide you with a patient-friendly dental appliance that will break
the habit. Contact Us for more information
and an appointment.
Back to Top
An open bite often results from thumbsucking or prolonged use of
a pacifier. If the open bite is not corrected early, the child may
develop a habit of deviated swallowing and/or anterior tongue thrust.
(This is when the child presses against the back of his teeth repeatedly
and subconsciously with his tongue). These habits lead to further
dental problems and make correction of the open bite more difficult.
The best cure for open bite is to prevent it in the first place
by eliminating thumbsucking and the use of pacifiers as early as
possible for your child. Untreated, open bite can lead to facial
malformation, abnormal speech patterns and significant orthodontic
Back to Top