Health Tip: Children and Thumbsucking

It may affect dental health

(HealthDay News) -- Thumbsucking is more than an unsightly habit that most toddlers easily outgrow. The practice can permanently damage their teeth.

The American Dental Association explains:

  • Children who suck their thumbs vigorously may have more dental problems than those who just hold the thumb in their mouths.
  • Thumbsucking affects the way permanent teeth align as they come in. Kids who suck thumbs aggressively can even damage baby teeth.
  • Most children stop sucking their thumbs before they are 4 years old, before the permanent teeth come in.
  • Speak with your dentist if you are concerned about your child's thumbsucking and its effects on dental health.