The Facts And Fictions About Thumb Sucking: Part 2

thumb sucking appliancesIn part one of this facts and fictions about thumb sucking series, we talked about the recent study conducted by the University of Sydney that found there wasn’t a link between speech impairments and the use of pacifiers and thumb sucking.

While this is great news and puts us on the right track to determine the root cause of speech impairments to improve speech development, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean thumb sucking and pacifiers are recommended after the age of four.

Here in part two, we’ll discuss why thumb sucking and pacifier use can still be detrimental for your child once they’re no longer a toddler.

Why is thumb sucking still a problem?

Dr. Elise Baker, the lead author of the speech impairment study, says that pacifiers and thumb sucking are still known to cause “open bite” when they’re used for a long period of time. For instance, 5% of children will suck their thumb after the ages of four or five.

An open bite is when the upper and lower jaw are unable to meet. Extensive thumb sucking and pacifier use have also been known to cause problems at the roof of the mouth.

Thumb sucking, in particular, can also cause issues with infection. Your child’s saliva and extensive sucking may cause a malformation of the thumb nail, which can cause infections in the nail itself.

Up to 3,200 bacteria are carried on the average person’s hands and, because your child is still learning good handwashing techniques they may carry even more bacteria.

In your child’s early years, this can actually be beneficial because your child because it helps to boost their immune system against allergens. Yet, once your child enters preschool, they’re more likely to introduce more harmful bacteria into their bodies when they suck their thumb.

Stay tuned to part three of our facts and fictions about thumb sucking series where we’ll go into detail about how you can help your child break their thumb sucking habit.

Where can I find a finger guard for toddlers?

A finger guard for toddlers may be in your best interest if your child is still sucking their thumb after the age of three or four.

Thumbsucking appliances such as the TGuard finger guard have proven to be 90% effective in breaking thumbsucking habits. To learn more about how to stop thumb sucking and how thumb sucking guards work, contact TGuard today.