Does Thumb-Sucking Affect Children’S Oral Health?

Does Thumb-Sucking Affect Children’S Oral Health?

If you’re concerned that your child’s thumb sucking will affect the development of their permanent teeth, or are concerned about their oral health for any reason, talk to a pediatric dentist today. However, after this time, it can begin to negatively affect oral health. However, thumb sucking that continues as your baby grows can be worrisome, especially if their permanent teeth have already erupted. However, the problem with thumb sucking is that as a child’s teeth grow, placing the thumb on the teeth can cause them to grow abnormally.

Routine insertion of the thumb into the mouth can cause the permanent teeth to grow forward, leading to occlusal complications and possibly requiring future orthodontic treatment. It is not uncommon for suction cups to have bite problems, including open bite, which occurs when spaces form between upper and lower teeth. Another risk associated with thumb sucking is nerve damage to the gums and teeth, and increased sensitivity in the mouth and around the teeth when exposed to hot and cold temperatures such as hot tea, cold drinks, soups, etc. This can lead to misaligned teeth, bite problems, taste problems and oral problems, and jaw development.

Bad Effects Of Thumb Sucking

Children can damage their teeth from thumb sucking, including misalignment. The effects of thumb sucking on teeth can be long lasting and detrimental to children’s oral health. Unfortunately, thumb sucking can be detrimental to a child’s oral health, especially tooth development. Although the habit usually stops between the ages of 2 and 4, before elementary school, parents often worry about how thumb sucking affects their child’s oral development.

Babies and young children who excessively suck their fingers or rely on a pacifier are missing out on vital opportunities to develop and practice these formative language skills. However, if your child is four, five, or even older and still using a pacifier or thumb sucking, teeth, jaw, and other developmental aspects can be negatively affected. Because thumb sucking affects the development of teeth, jaw, and palate, this habit can also change how your child eats and talks. Prolonged use of a pacifier or constant thumb sucking can affect the development of the orofacial complex, which includes the jaw, muscles of the mouth and face, and teeth.

Ways To Stop Thumb Sucking

While thumb sucking and pacifiers are used to soothe teething and upset babies, these habits can affect the health of teeth and gums, especially when repeated after infancy. While thumb sucking and pacifiers have their benefits, if the habit becomes excessive and persists beyond infancy, they can damage your child’s dental health. However, nighttime habits can be more difficult to correct, but there are still ways to help your child stop thumb sucking. Encouraging your child to stop sucking their thumb.

Your  london dentist can reassure your child and explain what can happen to his teeth if he doesn’t stop suckling. During these checkups, your dentist may talk to your child or discuss options with you to help your child kick the habit. Dentist can examine your child’s mouth to determine if they have any damage to their teeth caused by thumb sucking, and can also provide many helpful tips and tools for oral care in children. However, your dentist is available to help you with orthodontic treatment that will address the alignment and spacing issues your child may experience due to excessive thumb sucking or other childhood dental problems such as mesiodens.

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Exposure To Germs

When determining whether thumbsucking is a problem, our  london dentist consider the length and intensity of thumbsucking when a child’s front teeth begin to erupt. If the habit persists for more than seven years, then the position of adult teeth may be irreversibly damaged, and the likelihood of self-correction is reduced. If a child’s habit is intense enough, it can cause the same problems as constant thumb sucking in a shorter amount of time. Babies who continue to suck their fingers for long periods of time face dental problems that may accompany them into adulthood.

Children who have sucked their thumbs for many years may have serious skin problems on their beloved thumb. When a baby put thumb in their mouth, your baby is exposed to germs, which can increase their chances of developing infections or illnesses. If your child has severe skin problems from thumb sucking, you may need to discourage this behavior by wrapping the affected finger, wearing a medical glove, or otherwise protecting the thumb.

However, if your child sucks his thumb very aggressively, pay attention as this activity can also damage baby teeth. Since your child may not think before he starts working with his thumb, he may need your support and guidance to break the habit of the appropriate developmental stage. However, if your child is over four years old and continues to suck his thumb, it’s best to start implementing a strategy to help him kick the habit.

Explain to them that it’s time to get rid of this behaviour, and praise them when you see them resist the urge to suck their thumb. Constantly forcing a child to kick the habit, or punishing or humiliating him for thumb sucking, is likely to do much more harm than good.


A good reminder is that if your child often talks with his thumb or pacifier in his mouth, it’s time to act, as this can affect language development.

In severe cases, dentists may recommend using a bassinet or other dental appliance that is inserted into the roof of the mouth to control the child’s urge to thumbsuck. If it’s constant, more than four hours a day or all night while sleeping, it can affect the position of new teeth and even how they bite.