Thumb/Finger Sucking

Thumb/finger sucking is a habit that occurs in infants. Children usually give up thumb/finger sucking by the age of four. If the child continues past the age when their permanent teeth start to erupt, they may develop crooked teeth and a malformed roof of their mouth. This results from the frequency, duration, intensity, and position of the thumb/finger in the child’s mouth. This can also affect the position of the upper and lower jaw and can also affect speech.

Suggestions to break the habit:

  • Wait till the time is right (low stress).
  • Motivate your child (show examples of what could happen to their teeth and fingers/thumbs).
  • Use a reward system (small incentives will encourage your child to stick with it).
small girl with her finger in her mouth