Dental Ramifications of Thumb Sucking

 In Children, General Dentistry

It’s natural for children to suck on their thumbs or fingers.  It creates a sense of comfort and security, and may even help the child fall asleep. Have you ever wondered if thumb sucking was bad for a child’s dental development though?

Thumb sucking has many purposes for children, but at what point should parents work on trying to get their children to stop?  Many dentists will agree that the earlier you can get a child to stop sucking their thumb, the better.  Still, some parents may find it difficult to scold their 1 year old child for sucking his/her thumb.  Instead, it has been recommended in the past that once a child’s baby or “primary” teeth begin to fall out – thumb sucking should stop.

Regularly sucking on a thumb or pacifier may cause changes in the development and alignment of teeth.  Depending on the severity of the thumb sucking the dental ramifications will vary.  In addition, putting anything into a child’s mouth opens the window for germs to enter the body.  The last thing a parent or child wants after losing a baby tooth is to have the sore area in the gums attacked by germs.

Parents should praise their child for not sucking on their thumb as much as possible, in an effort to wean them off of their dependency.  If you have any other questions about thumb sucking or the dental ramifications of thumb sucking, feel free to contact us for more information.

Recommended Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search