Thumb Sucking & Habit Breaking

Although thumb sucking is typically harmless in babies and toddlers, once children's adult teeth start coming in, this habit could lead to serious oral problems.


How does thumb sucking lead to dental problems?

When children are very young, thumb sucking doesn't usually cause problems. The vast majority of children  outgrow their thumb sucking habits before starting school. 

In fact,  for babies and toddlers, thumb sucking is a perfectly normal, self-comforting behaviour, and shouldn't cause parents any concern.

Thumb sucking does becomes a problem, however, if the habit persists after the eruption of adult teeth. When thumb sucking continues beyond this time, it can cause serious dental and speech problems. And, during school years, continued thumb sucking can lead to social issues and teasing for your child.

How does thumb sucking cause dental problems?

Once the adult teeth have erupted, continued thumb sucking can lead to the teeth becoming improperly aligned. This habit can also push the teeth outward, and lead malformation of the upper palate.

How can I discourage my child from sucking his thumb?

It can be very difficult to discourage children from thumb sucking. But don't worry! At Smile Town Dentistry, our team has extensive experience with this problem, and we can help.

One option that we provide to help break the thumb sucking habit is a custom-made thumb sucking appliance. This appliance is cemented behind your child's front teeth. It isn't at all painful or uncomfortable, but it makes thumb sucking much less enjoyable, thereby discouraging the habit.

If you think your child might be a good candidate for a thumb sucking appliance, get in touch with Smile Town Dentistry today.


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