Thumb Sucking Can Be Bad

thumb sucking and pacifier

Is thumb sucking harmful after a certain age? In short, the answer is yes. It is normal for infants to suck their fingers or thumbs, and many babies use pacifiers without problems! So why is it bad? Prolonged thumb or finger sucking and pacifier use that spans into the 3-5 year old range can cause teeth to come in crooked or bite problems. If your child continues these habits past age 3, we recommend a professional evaluation. At Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry, we will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking, finger sucking, or pacifier habit.

Break the Thumb Sucking, Finger Sucking, and Pacifier Habit:

  • Find a good time when your child is happy and not stressed. Timing is everything. If your child is already in a bad mood, they won’t be as receptive to behavior changes.
  • Encourage your child with positive reinforcement. Praise your child when they are not sucking their thumb, finger, or pacifier.
  • Create a rewards system with small incentives to encourage your child to stick with it!
If you think your child may have bite problems, we also offer orthodontics services.