Childrens Dentistry & Orthodontics | Children's Dentistry

Thumb or finger sucking are habits that occur in infants. Children usually give up thumb-sucking by the age of four. If your child continues the habit past the age when permanent teeth begin to erupt – they may develop an open bite, crooked teeth, and a malformed palate (roof of the mouth). This results from the frequency, duration, intensity, and position of the thumb in the child’s mouth. Prolonged thumb-sucking can also affect the position of the upper and lower jaw, as well as affect speech.

Suggestions for breaking a thumb-sucking habit:

Prolonged use of pacifiers can harm the teeth just like prolonged thumb-sucking, although it is often easier to wean a child from a pacifier than a thumb.  Pacifier use during the first few years of life does not cause long-term dental problems.  However, prolonged pacifier use may cause a child’s top front teeth to slant outward to erupt improperly.

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