Thumbsucking By Sara WAU

Many parents are concerned about their child’s thumbsucking. Wondering if its harmful and at what age it should stop.

Infants and young children suck on things because it makes them feel secure and helps them to learn about their world. Young children often use thumbsucking to soothe themselves. They find it relaxing often using it to fall asleep.

Thumbsucking does not cause a problem with teeth until the permanent front teeth come in(beginning about age 6). The strength of sucking determines whether or not dental problems will occur. Children who rest their thumbs in their mouths are less likely to have problems than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.

Here are a few tips to help your child stop:

1. Offer praise for not sucking.
2. Remember that children often suck their thumbs to feel secure. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and comfort your child.
3. Reward children when they avoid sucking during difficult times.
4. Your dentist can explain to your child what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop.
5. Relax. Remember that most children stop on their own before any problem occur.

1 Comment

  1. Andrea

    I agree that thumb suckingcan cause damage to the permanent teeth. The ADA says kids should stop thumb sucking by age 3. A great product for kids and parents is called Thumbuddy To Love. you can get it on their web site or on It helps teach children not to suck and offers them praise when they do not suck. Kids love it!


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