5 Aspects of Thumb-Sucking in Kids: Is it Problematic?
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5 Aspects of Thumb-Sucking in Kids: Is it Problematic?

Thumb sucking is a common habit in kids. It is a way, by which kids pacify themselves and it helps them in sleeping. Thumb sucking is acceptable at a young age, but the habit should subside naturally by the time the kid turns 2 or 3. It is a natural part of a child’s development and 85 to 90% of kids suck their thumb.

However, in the long run it can lead to interior open bite, which means the top and bottom front teeth won’t touch. It can also create a gap affecting the child’s ability to swallow, explains the dentist in Oshawa. Let’s have a look at some aspects of thumb-sucking to find out if it’s problematic.

  • AGE

The age of your child matters when it comes to thumb sucking. If your child has not left thumb sucking at the age of 3-4, it can lead to irreversible changes to the jaw. If the child stops sucking the thumb by the age of 2, the jaw will correct itself. On the basis of the frequency, duration, and intensity of thumb-sucking, your child may need a treatment for addressing the damage. You must try to get them to stop sucking the thumb before their grown-up teeth erupts.


You must also try to find out how often your child sucks his / her thumb. If the child is doing it only for 5 to 10 minutes prior to his/ her sleep, the chances of damage are very less. If they suck their thumb more often, the chances of damage are more.


If your child sucks their thumb only few times a day such as before sleeping, as compared to kids who always have their thumb in their mouth, the chances of damage are lesser.


The intensity of the thumb sucking also matters. Intensive and active thumb-sucking can cause more damage.

  • What’s Going On In Their Life

Many a times, children use thumb-sucking as a coping mechanism, so you must try to find out if anything is bothering your child.

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