Many infants and children develop a habit of sucking their thumb. This is a natural and common habit, but if it continues into later childhood, it can begin to cause problems for your child’s teeth. At Knollwood Dental Group, we want to help you and your family maintain healthy, beautiful smiles for life. If your child sucks their thumb, Dr. Donald Brown III and our team can help your child end their habit and protect your teeth. For more information, and to schedule your consultation with our dentist about thumb sucking in Mobile, Alabama, we welcome you to contact us at 251-666-3982.

For babies and young children, sucking is a naturally calming reflex, and most infants end up sucking on a pacifier or their thumb. While thumb sucking is natural and potentially harmless action, it can begin to cause problems when a child’s teeth begin to erupt.

In most cases, children who suck their thumbs quit the habit between the ages of 2 and 4, when their permanent teeth are getting ready to come in. If a child continues to suck their thumb after their permanent teeth begin to erupt, there can be major repercussions. The consistent pressure and placement of the thumb along the dental arch can lead to improper tooth growth. Teeth will be forced to move out of their proper place and become misaligned.

It is important that your child discontinue a thumb-sucking habit at an early age. If you notice that your child is continuing to suck their thumb, you are welcome to talk with our dentist. In addition, try out some of the following tips:

  • Focus on praising your child when they do not suck their thumb instead of scolding them when they do.
  • Locate and eliminate the source of anxiety that causes your child to suck their thumb; the action of sucking a thumb is used to bring comfort when faced with discomfort or stress.
  • Praise your child when they do not suck their thumb in more difficult circumstances.
  • Wrap your child’s thumb or fingers in a bandage or sock while they are sleeping. This will prevent them from putting or keeping their thumb in their mouth.

If you have any questions about how to help you child end their habit of sucking their thumb, we welcome you to talk with our dentist. We are always happy to answer any questions!

What Our Patients Say:

Click here for a live map