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Is thumb sucking a problem?

Babies have a natural inclination to suck anything put in their mouth. This helps them early to learn to breastfeed and can be a self-soothing mechanism in the early years of their life.
There are usually no long-term adverse effects from a child sucking their thumb as a toddler and and most children naturally give-up the habit between 2 and 4 years of age.

However, if thumb or finger sucking continues past this age it can alter the normal growth of the jaws and cause significant misalignment of the front adult teeth as they erupt into the mouth.
Some of the orthodontic problems which can occur dur to thumsucking include:

  • Protruding upper front teeth
  • Tipped back lower front teeth
  • Open bite
  • Cross bite

If your child is older than 5 years of age and is still sucking their thumb on a regular basis, then early orthodontic treatment may be required. We also have specific strategies and a thumb-sucking appliance which can help your child address this issue.

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First Smiles

Suite 7, 38 Meadowvale Ave
South Perth, WA 6151
p. (08) 9367 9277

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