Thumb-sucking: Why It Happens And How To Overcome It

Why it happens

Children have the habit of thumb sucking because it is soothing and comforting. Your preschooler may have been practicing this manner while they were in the womb and perfected it as a baby.

They now turn to their thumb when they feel tired, sick, scared, bored, or trying to adapt to a challenge like starting kindergarten or preschool. You can also look for the best thumb sucking prevention for your child.

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They can also use their thumb to fall asleep before bed and return to sleep when they wake up in the midst of the night.

What to do about thumb sucking

Don't worry too much. The surveys say most kids can carefully suck their thumbs – without destroying the arrangement of their jaw or teeth until their permanent teeth emerge. 

Also, keep in mind that not every thumb sucking is evenly dangerous. Experts say that the intensity of the suction and traction of the tongue destroys the teeth and thus requires braces. 

Children who passively put their thumbs in their mouths were less likely to develop dental problems than children who were sucking aggressively.

Observe your child's technique. If they are thumb-sucking too much, you may want to start limiting this habit sooner, say around age 4. 

If you notice changes in their mouth or teeth, or if you are doubtful whether your child’s thumb sucking is creating difficulties, talk to your dentist.