Thumb Sucking and its Effects

Thumb Sucking and its Effects

Children start using sucking actions to relax themselves as early as infancy. In reality, many parents use pacifiers, teething toys, and other objects made for toddlers to suck on to help their kids develop emotional control. Thumb sucking may become a habit for kids as they become older. Thumb sucking, however, may have long-lasting adverse consequences if it is practiced beyond the age of four.

Why do babies suck their thumb?

First, you should be aware that baby finger-sucking is usually not as calm and tranquil as you would imagine. Oh, it can begin subtly, but it will quickly escalate to a lip-smacking affair that can be heard. It is a fantastic attention-getter, but more subtly so than sobbing. A Mother will stop everything if she hears that sucking, lip-smacking, and hungry sounds to check whether feeding time has arrived. 

They often spit out their pacifiers as you lay them down, even if you managed to persuade them to take one. The clinging that it causes, not the sucking, is what makes it relaxing. Therefore, babies sucking on their thumbs do so in order to force their parents to take them up even when they are not hungry. Thumb sucking gives babies a sense of security, some newborns may later make it a habit to thumb sucking before falling asleep or when they need to be relaxed.

Thumb sucking’s negative effects

Open Bite

Dental malocclusions are the most severe long-term negative effects of thumb sucking. When the mouth is closed, teeth that are out of alignment are referred to as having a malocclusion. Open bite and overbite are two of the malocclusions brought on by thumb sucking that are most prevalent. The top and bottom front teeth turn outward when there is an open bite. Even when your child’s mouth is entirely closed, the front teeth do not contact due to this misalignment.


Overbite occurs when the teeth are forced outward, similar to open bite malocclusion. However, this misalignment is only present in the upper front teeth when there is an overbite. When your child’s mouth is closed due to this misalignment, the top teeth cover the bottom teeth rather than contacting as they should. The appearance of the face and smile might be impacted by overbite malocclusion. Extreme overbites may need considerable orthodontic treatment to be corrected.

Social Problems

Thumb sucking may create social problems even before it poses a genuine risk to the development of your child’s teeth. Children who suck their thumbs in front of others risk being made fun of by their friends. Even though thumb-sucking is a common childhood practice, as your kid grows older, others may criticize him or her harshly for continuing the behavior.

It’s important to keep in mind that thumb-sucking is not a sign of any physiological or developmental problems while you seek to discourage your kid from doing it. To stop the habit, your kid may require your assistance as well as that of a dentist or doctor.

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