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The Most Common Oral Health Issues Related To Finger Sucking

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Common childhood habits are often of a repetitive, self-comforting nature. These behaviors serve a soothing purpose to calm the brain and the body. As a natural reflex for infant children, finger sucking is one habit that parents prevalently grow concerned about when the middle childhood years arrive. If prolonged for too long, finger sucking may wreak lasting havoc on the mouth.

As WebMD makes careful mention of, the intensity of the habit and the duration of time that a child sucks their thumb or finger will impact the severity of any dental or oral problems. Let’s examine the impact of this perpetual tendency on children’s health and development a bit closer. Here is a guide on the most common oral health issues related to finger sucking.

The Reason Why Oral Health Matters

Good oral health begins in early childhood and is essential to lay a steady foundation for lifelong health and wellbeing. Oral health ties closely to the health of the entire body. More than anything else, proper care and maintenance of the teeth and mouth serves as a child’s first line of defense in the future.

Equipping children with the right tools to maintain a healthy mouth and providing education on the possible effects of their habits is key. Parents can help create the framework for their children to maintain a happy and healthy smile for life.

The Long-Term Effects of Active Digit Sucking

The most common oral health issues related to finger sucking are specific dental structure or development problems. Keep in mind that children’s permanent teeth do not start coming in until they reach around six years old.

Yet, according to the experts at Healthline, damage can occur in earlier childhood. The challenge is that this damage may or may not correct itself with age. Ergo, concerned parents should understand and be knowledgeable about these possible effects of prolonged finger sucking.

Malocclusion and Jaw and Facial Changes

The repetitive pressure of intense or consistent sucking can impact the teeth, jawbone, or the roof of the mouth. This can cause a range of sensitivity, biting, or protrusion issues. Malocclusion is a specific dental risk occurring when the teeth become misaligned or out of place in the gum line. Jawbone and facial development changes can also occur also from this repetitive, constant pressure in the mouth.

How To Help Break the Habit

As time goes by—and children mature and develop greater self-control—their finger sucking tendencies tend to fade or lessen. As Colgate states, it’s important to remember that each child’s health history is as unique as they are.

If your child needs greater help assuming mastery over their behavior, you can help with an array of strategies, treatments, or effective products. Consider the AeroFinger treatment kit from TGuard today. Learn more about how to stop a thumb sucking habit on our site.


Thumb Sucking: The Good, the Bad, and the Normal” from Colgate

What Are the Effects of Thumb Sucking on the Teeth and Mouth?” from Healthline

What to Know About Effects of Thumb Sucking on Teeth”from WebMD