Baby Teeth and Thumb Sucking

Sucking is a natural urge for babies and infants. Sucking on fingers, or pacifiers helps to relax and comfort your infant and helps her fall asleep. The sucking actually helps with natural facial growth and development.

Most children stop their sucking habit on their own by 3 to 5 years of age. If the child continues to suck his thumb after the permanent teeth start to come in, typically between 5 to 7 years, it can cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth, alignment of the teeth or even cause changes to the roof of the mouth or jaw.

Thumb-sucking tips:

  1. Don't worry! Most kids stop on their own.
  2. Try not to let your child know that this is an issue for you, or else it may become a battle of the wills.
  3. A good practice is to give your child praise when you notice he isn't sucking.
  4. Offer distractions to keep his hands busy. (Playing with balls, drawing or colouring.. play dough or musical instruments.)
  5. If you or your dentist believe damage to the teeth is occurring from thumb sucking, work with you're older child to develop a strategy for stopping.
  6. Use a bandage to cover the thumb or hand as a reminder, especially if the sucking occurs during the night.