Does thumb-sucking cause any problems for children?

Parent know that thumb-sucking is normal, common and natural in babies and young children. It is understandable that babies suck their thumbs to soothe themselves. Thumb-sucking can be compared with a pacifier when they feel hungry, afraid, restless, quiet, sleepy, or bored.

Most infants suck their thumbs, but this habit will gradually decrease as child growing. There are also many risk resulted from this habit, that is reason for a fact that Thumb-sucking does particularly cause problems for children.

Even doctors say that thumb-sucking is normal and there is no need to worry about. However, it should be take a notice as prolonged thumb-sucking seen in child may cause a child to develop dental problems.

The common results of too frequent thumb-sucking are: a child’s teeth to become improperly aligned (malocclusion) or push the teeth outward, sometimes malforming the roof (upper palate) of the mouth. Malocclusion usually corrects itself when the child stops thumb-sucking. But the longer thumb-sucking continues, the more likely it is that orthodontic treatment will be needed to correct any resulting dental problems.

A child may also develop speech problems, including mispronouncing Ts and Ds, lisping, and thrusting out the tongue when talking.

In particular, thumb-sucking seen at children over 5 is likely abnormal and considered causing emotional problems, anxiety.

If your child are having symptoms of bad thumb-sucking habit, you either treat them at home by setting rules and providing distractions or taking a doctor’s advices.


Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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