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Young children have a habit of putting of sucking on objects and fingers as a method of learning and comfort. While a habit of thumb sucking for an infant and toddler is not generally a cause for concern, vigorous or prolonged thumb sucking can have a negative effect on your child’s smile formation. If you have noticed your child has a potentially harmful habit of thumb sucking, we suggest a few methods you can try to break the habit.

Effects of Thumb Sucking
Your child’s smile is constantly developing as he or she receives baby teeth, and then loses them to make way for permanent teeth and dental growth. Vigorous or prolonged thumb sucking can cause irregular dental formation and even change the shape of the roof of his or her mouth during its development.

Tips to Discourage Thumb Sucking
– Many children suck their thumbs to fall asleep, and our pediatric dentist can provide an oral night appliance if needed, for your child to wear during sleep.
– If your child sucks his or her thumb to relieve feelings of anxiety, we encourage you to determine what causes your child to feel anxious so that you can help them develop alternative methods for comfort.
– Use positive reinforcement to help your child quit their thumb-sucking habit–explain the risks of their habit and praise them when they choose to not suck their thumb.
– Arrange for our pediatric dentist to speak with your child about how thumb sucking is bad for teeth, as a visit with the dentist may offer more influence.


To learn more about how to stop your child from thumb sucking in San Diego, California, call 858-259-1400 and schedule a visit with Dr. Soudabeh Sharafi soon.