thumb suckingThumb Sucking is common among children who are under two years old and is usually associated with the child being hungry.  Other children thumb suck when they’re sleeping, teething, upset, tired or shy.

About 30% of children in preschool continue to thumb suck. Most children surpass this stage by age 5. Thumb sucking may not be dangerous, but when permanent teeth start to come in it becomes harmful. Permanent teeth begin developing between the ages of 4 and 6.

Reasons Why Children Thumb Suck

  • For Comfort
  • Hungry
  • Bored
  • In Pain
  • Worried
  • Tired
  • Stressed

Thumb Sucking and Permanent Teeth

Children who use a pacifier or continue to thumb suck at the age of 4 or 5 are more likely to see an orthodontist because of the following reasons:

  • Have an irregular bite
  • Protruded front teeth
  • Poor development of the jaw
  • Affect the placement of developing teeth

How to Break the Habit 

  • Do not punish or nag your child. This will only stress them even more and they will continue to suck their thumb.
  • Tell your child why they should stop thumb sucking. Make them understand the long-term effects of this habit and what it may lead to.
  • Get rid of stressors that could cause your child’s thumb sucking habit.
  • Sidetrack their attention with a toy, an activity or a song when you see them sucking their thumb.

Bring your child to a Hilliard dentist if they have a habit of thumb sucking and you notice changes to their teeth. Call us at 614-876-1241 to schedule an appointment.