Possible Problems with Thumb-sucking

Mothers around the world have several common ailments no matter where they live. Some of them include their child's refusal to use the potty, picky food, or what many find confusing – thumb sucking. Should they try to stop or continue? Will your child continue the habit into adolescence?

If your child is still sucking his/her thumb as the permanent teeth grow in, or will not relinquish the pacifier, you may have to help and stop thumb sucking habit in order to prevent dental problems in the future.

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Possible problems with thumb sucking

In general, thumb sucking is only a source of comfort for babies and is not a big problem at this age. However, if this habit continues to take root it can cause various problems, such as:

1. Tooth Damage – Although light suction on the thumb is usually harmless, strong suction on the thumb can harm dental health. This can change the alignment of the incoming teeth.

2. Broken Skin – Aggressive sucking can damage the delicate skin on the child's thumb, making it red or blotchy with calluses. If the skin breaks, it can also cause infection around the nail bed.

3. Stomach Infections – Young children are explorers and touch everything they see. Placing a finger in the mouth can easily remove germs from any surface it touches.

4. Reshaping of the jaw – the child's jaw is soft as it is still developing and the constant sucking can not only change the alignment of the teeth but also reshape the jaw.