Thumb sucking


Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children; sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects may make babies feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world. Children often suck their thumbs or fingers to get to sleep, when they are feeling unsure, tired, bored or sad. Sucking can become associated with times of the day, perhaps story time at school, or whilst watching TV.


However, as every dentist knows, prolonged thumb or finger sucking can have a detrimental effect on the development of children’s teeth and mouth. Sucking becomes a particular problem once children develop their adult teeth. Thumb or finger sucking can cause the mouth’s shape to become distorted and permanent teeth to grow in misaligned causing protrusion or over bite. The roof of the mouth can also be affected, all of which can cause problems with speech and bite.

What Dentists Say about Thumb Sucking


Andrew MacGregor from Park Orthodontics in Glasgow said, “The longer the thumb sucking continues, the more difficult these features are to correct and often teeth remain poorly aligned for the rest of their lives.”


Neil Harris, Clinical Director, HRS Dental, Stroud “Thumb sucking can cause many orthodontic problems which would need correction with braces in later life. Having a solution like the Thumbsie is much better than letting a situation develop where a brace is needed.”