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Dangers of Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a normal, self-soothing behaviour in often performed by young children. Babies have a natural reflex to suck on their thumbs, fingers and fists— sometimes even before birth. Thumb sucking helps babies feel safe and secure, and is often used as a way to help them fall asleep or relax. This behaviour usually subsides before the child becomes 4 years old, however they may still fall back to the habit in times of stress or frustration.

Thumb sucking becomes a complicated issue when the behaviour persists past the age of 4. When children continue their thumb sucking behaviour throughout their childhood and in some cases into adulthood, they run the risk of causing long-term damage to their teeth and jaws.

Continuous and vigorous thumb sucking can result in serious consequences because of the repetitive pressure the thumb and sucking places on the teeth, jaws, and mouth. Among many issues, long term thumb sucking can result in protruding or crooked teeth, permanent over or under bites, sores around the mouth and even cause people to develop speech impediments such as a lisp.

Learn more about how thumb sucking can negatively affect your child by downloading our E-book "The Dangers of Thumb Sucking".

Thumbsucking booklet


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