thumb-sucking affect your child's oral health

How can thumb-sucking affect your child’s oral health?


Thumb-sucking is a common habit in many infants and young children, and they eventually grow out of it independently. It is a natural process that helps them soothe themselves or find comfort. However, if your child is still sucking their thumb past age 4 or 5, it can lead to many dental problems.

Thumb-sucking can affect your child’s oral health in many ways.

Dental Malocclusions

Prolonged thumb sucking can cause teeth misaligning, known as malocclusion. It can lead to various problems, including difficulty in biting and chewing and even jaw pain.

Open bite

Thumb sucking can cause the front teeth to move forward and the back teeth to move backward, resulting in an open bite. It means the upper and lower teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed, making it difficult to chew and speak properly.

Speech Impairments

Continuous thumb sucking can affect the development of the mouth and teeth, resulting in speech problems such as lisping or difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds.

Mouth Breathing

Children who suck their thumbs or fingers for extended periods may habitually breathe through their mouths instead of their noses. This causes dry mouth, bad breath, and other oral health problems.

Increased risk of infection

If a child sucks their thumb frequently, they are at increased risk of developing infections in the mouth and around the thumb.

Dental problems

Thumb sucking can cause the roof of the mouth to narrow, leading to dental problems such as crowding or crooked teeth.

Prolonged and excessive thumb sucking in children must be discouraged to prevent these oral effects. If the habit persists, it is necessary to consult a pediatric dentist for advice on how to help the child break the habit.

At Dr Joy Dental Clinic, our specialist pediatric dentists help you identify the triggers that may be causing your child to suck their thumb and provide appropriate treatment methods or appliances to prevent it. In case your child has a persisting thumb-sucking habit, feel free to contact us at 80037569 for expert advice or to book an appointment with our specialist pediatric dentists.











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