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Thumb Sucking

Like many parents, you may be concerned if your child sucks their thumb, and may be worried about the long-term effect and dental problems that thumb sucking can cause.

Why do children thumb suck?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children; sucking on thumbs or fingers may make babies feel secure and happy. Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep. Many children stop thumb sucking on their own, but some find it difficult and some even continue into to adulthood. According to research about 30% of children in pre-school still suck their thumbs so you are not alone.

How does thumb sucking affect children’s teeth?

One of the main problems with thumb sucking is how it can affect the child’s teeth. Once a child’s permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. Some children who suck their thumb vigorously may even develop problems with their baby teeth as well as their permanent teeth.

The longer the thumb-sucking continues, the more difficult any problems maybe to correct and often teeth remain poorly aligned for life, and it can be more difficult to correct teeth misalignment caused by thumb sucking. Dummies can affect the teeth in the same way as digit sucking, but it is often an easier and quicker habit to break. It can be more difficult to correct malocclusion caused by thumb and finger sucking.

The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may follow later in life. In the event that children rest their thumbs latently in their mouths, they are probably going to cause fewer issues than the individuals who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some forceful thumb suckers may create issues with their infant (essential) teeth and additionally their grown-up teeth.

What Should I Do To Help My Child Stop Thumb Sucking?

Trying to stop thumb sucking can be tough. Try to praise your child for not thumb sucking rather than getting cross when they do. Try to use positive reinforcements. Most thumb suckers are unaware that they are doing it.

There may be a reason why your child is thumb sucking, try to investigate the cause. Some children find it a source of comfort when they are facing a problem or the unknown. Invest some time to understand why they might be thumb sucking. Offer them help and find a solution that works for you both.

You could ask your dentist to explain the effects of prolonged thumb sucking to your child and maybe even show them some pictures on the internet of poorly aligned teeth. Your dentist should be able to offer you support too.

How can Thumbsie® help?

A Thumbsie® fabric guard can help prevent thumb sucking as it is a gentle and effective way to help your child to give up thumb sucking which can lead to irreversible damage to the teeth and mouth. It is available in thumb and finger guards and in 5 different sizes. The Thumbsie® should be worn day and night until the habit is broken.

What do dentists think about Thumbsie®?

British dentists are backing Thumbsie® because it is a proven, effective way of stopping thumb and finger sucking which can lead to long-term damage to teeth and worryingly mouth shape, speech formation and even affect a child’s smile

Dr. Kotecha of Glen Dental says “I love the Thumbsie® – it works every time I recommend it! The Thumbsie® provides a fun way for a dentist or parent to help the child stop sucking because after all, it’s a hard habit to kick. There are so many different designs, kids get so excited to choose one and when they get it, they can’t wait to get started. Thank you Thumbsie®!” Read their blog.

Read what more dentists are saying about Thumbsie®.

In 2019 Thumbsie® was recognised for excellence and  awarded Innovation of the Year at the Dental Industry Awards, for pushing the boundaries of the dental profession.

For more specific information on any of our products, you might like to visit our FAQ’s page and also read our Thumbsie® Google reviews.

There are particular aspects of this habit that people want to discuss and understand more fully. If you would like any more information on thumb sucking, you may wish to read through our advice pages:

Further articles to read:

Thumbsie® wins Innovation of the Year at the Dental Industry Awards

We are proud to have won Innovation of the Year in the National Dental Industry Awards and winners in the 2019 Best Business Women Awards for Best Consumer Business.....
Dental Industry Awards Innovation of the Year Winner Best Consumer Business Winner Scottish Dental Awards innovation
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Based on 188 reviews
"Great product and easy to use, it worked a treat." Petra Chicken Customer Reviews

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Stop thumb sucking in a fun and positive way with our fabric thumb guards

Award-winning Thumbsie® was created from a real need when Jo Bates’s, founder Thumbsie Ltd, third daughter Isabel needed help to stop thumb sucking!

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