Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world.
Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep.
How Can Thumbsucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?
After permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break since a pacifier can be removed from the situation.
When Do Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?
Children usually stop sucking between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time the permanent front teeth are ready to erupt. If you notice changes in your child’s primary teeth, or are concerned about your child’s thumbsucking, consult your dentist.
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