Thumbsucking has been a reflex for kids to soothe themselves, feel comfortable, secure or happy. Yet this can have some consequences on the child's permanent teeth. Thumbsucking and sucking on a pacifier can have the same consequences such as problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth.
According to the American Dental Health Association, children usually stop sucking between the ages of two and four years old.
If you would like to help your child stop sucking their thumb, you can try a few things.
- Praise your child for not sucking.
- Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
- For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
- We can also offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.
If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumbsucking consult your dentist. If you have any questions, please contact us at (562) 377-1375