Watching your child suck their thumb is often worrisome for parents. This is actually completely normal, but you don’t want this habit to persist as they get older! Here are six more things you should know about thumb sucking

  1. 1.Thumb sucking is common! It’s a comfort mechanism that mimics the feel-good effects of breastfeeding — some babies begin this in utero!
  2. The AAPD recommends parents and caregivers encourage children to stop thumb sucking by age 3.
  3. It’s due to stress, hunger, or boredom. Research shows that these are the top three reasons why children can kick this habit.
  4. Most children stop sucking their thumb between the ages of 2 and 4.
  5. Thumb sucking is only problematic once permanent teeth start to come in. The force of their thumb pushes their teeth forward, requiring orthodontic treatment.
  6. In addition to pushing the teeth outwards, thumb sucking can also cause their jaw to narrow, which can make chewing difficult.

Overall, you shouldn’t be worried if your child is sucking his or her thumb — unless the habit continues! If so, there are many ways to combat this issue — i.e. rewards system, placing vinegar on the finger, or visiting a dentist to place a palatal crib in your child’s mouth.

The best thing to do is to monitor your child’s oral health and take them to the dentist on a regular basis. Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk County offers a caring and compassionate approach to pediatric dentistry, ensuring our patients are comfortable at all times. To learn more about our practice visit our website, or give us a call at 631-320-0880 to schedule an appointment today!

Pediatric Dentistry of Suffolk County has two locations:

Commack | (631) 486-6364 | 2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 145
Medford | 631) 320-0880) | 3237 Route 112, Bldg 6, Suite 7B