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The Role Time Plays in Your Child’s Thumb Sucking Habit

Is your child one of the many young kids who has developed an oral sucking habit? Children can begin the common childhood practice as early as in the womb. As a self-soothing behavior, thumb sucking is useful—and nothing to worry about early on—but can become harmful to health, growth, and development over time.

What role does time play in your child’s thumb sucking habit? Read on if you’re a parent wondering about the appropriate age to discourage the practice. We’ve compiled further insight and information to help curb the concerns.

The Important Role of Time

According to the American Dental Association, thumb sucking is a natural and healthy reflex for young children. An oral sucking habit helps a child feel secure and supports their learning and exploring the world around them. The ADA also notes that many children stop their sucking habit on their own between the ages of two and four and before their permanent teeth come in.

Around this stage, you should notice the role time plays in your child’s thumb sucking habit. Pay attention to when, where, how long, and why the sucking occurs. If intensified or prolonged, the habit can be difficult for the child to break on their own. Depending on your child’s age, you may want to monitor—or act—to discourage their thumb dependence at the appropriate time.

The Potential Oral Health Consequences

As WebMD recognizes, promoting oral care early on is essential to maintain proper health and hygiene for years to come. When prolonged over time, a frequent oral habit can interfere with the growth and development of the teeth, mouth, and jaws.

Speak to a dentist about examining your child’s oral development more closely. Parents who do not monitor their child’s habit may see harmful consequences down the road. Chronic sucking behavior beyond a healthy age may cause teeth misalignment, bite problems, speech issues, or palate problems. Not to mention the potential need for costly orthodontic treatment.

When It’s Time To Break the Habit

A trusted pediatrician or dental specialist can provide detailed information about a child’s sucking habit and offer strategies or solutions to break it if needed. However, if you’re wondering how to break thumb sucking on your own, you can help wean the behavior for good with the proper support, guidance, and persistence.

When it’s time to break the habit, a concerned parent and child can find an effective solution with a thumb guard. The AeroThumb by TGuard is one such easy-to-use option. Learn more about this treatment kit today for your child’s continual health and well-being.


Thumbsucking and Pacifier Use” from the American Dental Association

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