Thumb Sucking

Infants will commonly develop a finger or thumb sucking habit. They tend to grow out of this habit by roughly the age of four. If they continue to do so after it may interfere with their permanent teeth. Sucking on the thumb or finger while the permanent teeth start to erupt can cause them to come in crooked. It can also cause the roof of their mouths to become malformed. How minor or severe depends on how often, for how long, the position in the mouth and how intense the habit is. Thumb sucking can also have a negative effect on the positioning of both the upper and lower jaw, this can play a role in the child’s speech.

There are ways to break this habit and prevent all of its negative consequences. First it is important to remember that it does not really become a problem until the permanent teeth start to come in. Motivate your child to stop by showing them what can happen to their teeth if they continue. Rewarding them for positive behaviour can also do a great deal to promote stopping the habit. With a little effort these problems can easily be avoided.

Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof.  For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.