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Is your child being discouraged from sucking their thumb? Thumb sucking in infants can cause a collection of issues and problems with the oral health of a child. Not only can it damage the alignment of the teeth in their mouths, it can also cause changes with their gums and the roof of their mouths.

Listed below are some of the common concerns often associated with thumb sucking:


– Thumb sucking can delay the growth of teeth.

– Thumb sucking can increase the risk for tooth decay or infections by introducing new bacteria into a child’s mouth.

– Additional treatment habits for thumb sucking include having the child’s pediatrician prescribe medication used to coat the child’s finger in a bitter and foul-tasting substance.

– Shower your child with praise and help increase their confidence when they do not suck their thumbs, as thumb sucking is often done when they are feeling insecure or need it as a “security blanket.”

– Pacifiers are often considered an alternative to thumb sucking, but it can affect the teeth and gums in nearly the same ways, although it does tend to be an easier habit to stop in children.

– A child should normally stop sucking their thumbs around the time their permanent adult teeth begin to grow in, which is around 4 years of age.

To learn more about the dangers of thumb sucking and to schedule a visit, contact Dr. Steven J. Brazis and our team at Steven J. Brazis, DDS by calling us at 916-731-5151. If you would like to schedule an oral exam or bi-annual professional cleaning, our pediatric office is located in Sacramento, California. We are here to proudly keep your child’s smile healthy and happy.