3 Harmful Effects of Thumb Sucking

It’s natural for parents to have plenty of concerns regarding the health of their children. Some pressing symptoms are more alarming than others; there are seemingly minor habits that are actually highly destructive in the long run- and easy to overlook. 

Thumb sucking is one of the many quirks that can compromise the proper development of your child’s teeth, especially between babies and toddlers. Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children, but prolonged practice can negatively impact your little rugrat’s smile through the years. 

With that in mind, the list below explores different reasons it’s in your best interest to break your kid’s habit of thumb sucking as soon as they go beyond the toddler stage: 

1. Excessive Thumb Sucking Can Lead to the Development of Malocclusion Issues Over Time 

The action of sucking is a powerful force that can put unnecessary strain on your children’s bite, which can result in misalignment problems concerning the upper or lower teeth. Thumb sucking typically leads to an open bite, which refers to a condition wherein the front upper and bottom teeth do not meet, even with a closed mouth. 

The poor habit can also result in an overbite, wherein the front teeth abnormally protrude beyond the bottom teeth. Both forms of malocclusion can compromise the functionality of your kid’s teeth, resulting in low self-esteem and a long-term struggle with speech or chewing. 

2. Excessive Thumb Sucking Can Impact the Jaw and Facial Development 

The jaw and facial structure rapidly change throughout the child’s stages of development – particularly from infancy to adolescence. Their bones are softer and easy to alter, which is why the persistent and powerful pressure of sucking can push the teeth to shift from its proper position. 

This can lead to further complications in the future as it can compromise the way your child can efficiently and effectively speak, chew, bite, and other daily functions. When left unchecked, it can result in your child having to undergo extensive treatment. 

3. Excessive Thumb Sucking Can Result in Poor Tongue Control 

In addition to developing malocclusions, the prolonged habit of thumb sucking can also affect your children’s speech by compromising their tongue control. This can promote lisp or make it harder for them to pronounce S, Z, L, and R sounds properly. 

The Bottom Line: The Ideal Orthodontic Treatment For Resolving the Detrimental After Effects of Thumb Sucking

Occasional thumb sucking can introduce benefits to children as it can provide comfort during their teething stages, but prolonging the habit can lead to debilitating effects on their dental health over time. 

Following good dental practice goes beyond brushing and flossing twice daily, it also involves other habits that can impact the quality and alignment of your teeth. If you want to bring back the confidence behind your smile, check our site to explore our treatment options with Dr. Steven Semaan. 

Our Invisalign* services can help you and your child take the step towards a healthier, more beautiful smile. Book online for a free consultation or send photos in for Dr. Steven Semaan to freely review!

*This product is not available for purchase by the general public. Always follow the directions for use.