Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking can be a perfectly normal phase in your child’s development. During infancy, babies frequently will put their fingers in their mouth, as they use their mouths to experience the world around them. Even though thumb sucking is okay as an infant, it can lead to dental concerns over time if the behavior becomes excessive. As children age, the habit might stick due to the soothing feeling it would provide them as an infant. When this behavior continues, it could lead to overbite, a misaligned bite, palate problems, and even difficulty with speech. 

How to Break the Habit

In order to eliminate thumb-sucking, it’s important to be patient and not punish your child while breaking their habit. By scolding or punishing them, you may actually cause them to cling to the activity more, as it soothes them from stress. Instead, offer new ways to capture their attention and they will eventually adjust on their own! Introducing new coping behaviors could be an effective way to distract your child from thumb sucking. You can give them a stuffed animal to hold, a soft blanket, or introduce them to a new activity they will enjoy. 

For more information on the condition of your child’s teeth as a result of thumb sucking, please call our office. During your appointment, we will examine your child’s bite and offer you some tips and tricks for breaking the habit.