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Why thumb-sucking could negatively affect children’s oral health

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

The act of sucking one’s thumb comes as a natural reflex for many children, starting from when they are in the womb. Problems only begin when thumb sucking lasts well beyond infancy, and becomes prolonged. It is then that oral health issues begin to seem apparent.

According to the research, if the thumb sucking habit comes to a halt by the age of seven, then the teeth usually can correct themselves by normal growth. Nonetheless, research based evidence shows us that one in every eight children who are between the ages of seven and eleven have an extended thumb-sucking habit. If the habit still continues after the age of seven, then the position of the adult teeth could get permanently affected, and chances of self-correction are less likely to occur. This makes it crucial that the habit of thumb sucking be stopped on its tracks, at an early age.

If thumb sucking starts to become a long-term habit, then the impact on oral health could be long-term and severe. Problems that could arise include an anterior open bite, misshapen palette, a crossbite and even difficulty while chewing.

Oral experts from around the world have noted that thumb sucking can result in significant complications like malocclusion, speech impairment, intra-oral ulcers, and irregularities in teeth.

It’s been observed that posterior crossbite and anterior open bite are the most common malocclusions linked to prolonged sucking habits.

Why is good oral health so critical for young children

Research surveys have revealed that a majority of the adult population have reported that when they were younger, they had taken their oral health for granted. This highlights the importance of giving our children the tools to maintain a healthy and hygienic mouth, but also it is important that you spend some time educating them on why it’s so important.

By introducing good oral health in children from when they are young can set them up with a healthy smile for the rest of their life. A healthy and complete smile is one of the best gifts any parent or adult can give their child which will not alone boost their confidence and self-esteem, but also will save them from painful treatments down the line.

At 1 Health Medical Centre, our dentists spend time discussing with our patients’ the different difficulties and problems that can arise because of thumb-sucking. Depending on how severe the condition is, and which treatment option would work best for the person, each discussion is different.

If your kids have been dealing with issues related to thumb-sucking, contact 1 Health Medical Centre for assistance on our phone no +91-9880950950. Our dental experts will guide and help you at every step. They will discuss with you the best of the available options that’s available to take care of the problem, after carrying out a thorough examination. Allow our experienced dentists to assess your child's condition, and work their magic that will give your kid the smile that they'll always want to flaunt!

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