Break the habit to avoid complications.
Why is thumb sucking a problem?
Thumb sucking, or sucking on any fingers, is a common habit for young children. While it doesn’t always lead to tooth problems, if sucking continues during a growth spurt, complications may later require orthodontic and surgical treatments to correct.
If diagnosed in time, the tooth misalignments caused by thumb sucking can be treated with less invasive treatments. Our early interceptive orthodontic treatments are in place to prevent long term dental problems.
Benefits of ending the habit
- Prevent teeth being forced forward or back.
- Reduce the probability of tongue or speech problems.
- Prevent an open-bite, or a lateral cross-bite.
What can be used to break the habit?
We always recommend starting with positive reinforcement. Encouragement can be as simple as kind words, or small rewards – such as an extra bedtime story – if they refrain from finger/thumb sucking. Identifying triggers can help parents make subtle adjustments to their environment or routines.
What age is suitable to stop the habit?
Anytime from 2-and-a-half years to before the age of 7.
How long will it take to break the habit?
Habit-changing varies from individual, but it can take anything from 3-12 months.