Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural instinct of most babies. It gives them a feeling of relaxation and security, putting them in a comfortable state of rest. This is not good for the baby’s oral health? It could potentially affect the growth of the teeth in a negative way?

How common is thumb sucking?

More than 80% of the babies tend to suck on their thumbs (or fingers) from a very young age. The behavior may continue until the ages of two to four years, during which they naturally grow out of the habit. However, in some cases, children may continue to suck on their thumbs until they enter the preschool age, which is about five to six years. This could become a bit of a problem as the alignment of the permanent teeth that emerge after the baby teeth fall out could be affected.

What should you look out for?

Passive thumb sucking isn’t something that is of major concern. If your baby gently rests its thumb in the mouth and sucks on it, there wouldn’t be any issues related to malocclusion. However, if the sucking becomes aggressive, where the thumb presses on to the teeth and applies unwanted pressure on them. This could deviate them as they emerge, leading to a bad bite and other issues with the teeth alignment.

How can thumb sucking be dealt with?

  • Going aggressive on your thumb-sucking child can have a negative impact on it. Instead, be supportive, explain to
    them clearly, and make them understand. Give them a pat on the back when they don’t do it, which would have a
    positive effect on them.
  • Try to divert their attention in a subtle way rather than forcing their thumb out of their mouth. In case they’re
    anxious about something, comfort them and work on alleviating their nervousness.
  • Get them a pacifier. Not all types of pacifiers may be right for your child as they can impact the growth of the teeth. We can diagnose your child’s teeth and make a customized pacifier that’s orthodontically perfect for your child.

Call us at (262) 886-9440 to schedule an appointment to know more about pediatric dental care.


5440 Spring St., Racine, WI 53406

Phone: (262) 886-9440

Fax: (262) 886-9457

Office Hours

MON - FRI 7:00 am - 7:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (262) 886-9440