How Does Thumb Sucking Affect Teeth? | Northeastern Braces

What Is Thumb Sucking?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for most infants and children. Sucking on thumbs, pacifiers, or other objects may create a feeling of security or soothe them to sleep. Thumb sucking is a typical habit of babies, so many parents may not want to intervene. However, breaking the habit of thumb sucking is important to avoid causing developmental issues in a child’s mouth.

How Can Thumb Sucking Affect My Child’s Teeth?

Once a child’s permanent teeth arrive, thumb sucking may affect the alignment of the teeth and jaw. The level of damage is determined by the intensity of thumb sucking. Some children who are aggressive thumbsuckers may develop problems with their baby teeth early on. Furthermore, the force of thumb sucking can cause teeth to tip forward, which leads to complicated malocclusions such as open bites, crossbites, or overjets.

What Are The Consequences Of Thumb Sucking?

Pacifiers and thumb sucking can help very young children develop jaw muscles. However, after that, it quickly becomes a problem. Thumb sucking is a habit that may cause a child to withdraw instead of interacting. While thumb sucking may appear like a habit that is completely innocent, the results can affect your child’s oral health later on in life. The long-term negative consequences of thumb sucking include:

  • Narrowing of the jaw
  • Shrinking the airway
  • Altered breathing
  • Poor swallow patterns
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Hindered speech
  • Abnormal tongue placement


When Should Children Stop Sucking Their Thumbs?

Children usually stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of two and four years old, or by the time their permanent front teeth start to erupt. If you notice abnormalities in your child’s primary teeth or are concerned about your child’s thumb sucking, consult with a Newburgh orthodontist at Northeastern Braces. Remember, the older a child gets, the more difficult it can be to break this habit.

Finding Out How Thumb Sucking Affects Teeth In Newburgh NY

Our team at Northeastern Braces are experts in orthodontics. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding thumb sucking or how does thumb sucking affect teeth in Newburgh NY, Beacon NY, Balmville NY, Cornwall On Hudson NY, and surrounding areas of Orange County NY. Contact Northeastern Braces to schedule a free consultation today.

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