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Thumb Sucking

Thumb Sucking is a natural reflex in children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, and other objects can often be a source of comfort from young children, helping them to fall asleep or feel secure. However, thumb sucking may cause problems for your child if the habit is not broken. Problems that may occur include changes to the roof of the mouth, issues with proper growth of the mouth as a whole, and teeth alignment.  

When do children usually stop sucking their thumbs?  

Children usually stop sucking their thumbs around the ages of 2-3, around the ages when their front teeth are due to erupt. If thumb sucking lingers beyond this point, it is a good idea to consult a dentist for recommendations on how to proceed.  

How can you help your child to stop thumb sucking?  

There are many different things you can do to help your child. Some of these things include:  

  • Providing comfort to your child in other forms and correcting the cause of the habit  
  • For older children, involving them in choosing the method of stopping.  
  • Praising your child for not sucking  
  • Consulting a dentist who can explain why it is bad if they do not stop sucking their teeth  

Finding out why a child has continued to suck their thumb is the most useful information when it comes to breaking the habit. It is important to realize that a collaborative effort between a dental professional, parent, and child is needed in order to break this kind of compulsion. The long lasting effects are worth the effort, as breaking this simple habit can prevent the need for things like surgery later in life.  

At a young age, do not worry about this habit. It is completely normal for a child to suck their thumbs even before birth. It’s soothing and helps babies to interact and explore their environment. When the habit continues into the age of three however, it is time to take action.  

If you have any questions about the effect of thumb sucking, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Apple Dental Group Today!