• Dr Changjie Guo

Get rid of thumb sucking habit.

Is thumb sucking normal?


Thumb sucking is a natural, reflexive behavior that helps infants soothe themselves and learn how to accept nourishment. Most children often stop this behavior on their own between the ages of two and four. However, if the behavior is severe or continues for too long, it can alter the normal growth of the jaws and cause significant misalignment of the front adult teeth as they erupt into the mouth, such as overbite, overjet, open bite and crossbite etc.


How to stop thumb sucking?


There are many ways to help to stop the habit, such as encouragement and rewards, reminders, distractions, gloves and thumb guards.

If a child has an extended thumb sucking habit (like the 8 year old one in the picture) or if it has already started to cause excessive overjet, then early orthodontic treatment may be required. This child had tried a few things for couple of years and didn't work. Eventually a fixed palatal appliance like this fixed palatal crib stopped the habit straightaway.

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