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Harmful Effects Of Thumb Sucking

Effects of Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers on Children’s Dental Health Q&A

Thumb sucking and pacifiers can surely provide some moments of relief and security for children, however, they have long-term consequences on children’s teeth. Children can experience jaw misalignment, tooth decay, roof narrowing, slanting teeth, and mouth sores. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 6030 S Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822. We serve clients in Sacramento CA, Lemon Hill CA, Pocket CA, Meadowview CA, Greenhaven CA, Hollywood Park CA, and surrounding areas.

Avoiding The Harmful Effects Of Thumb Sucking in Sacramento, CA
Avoiding The Harmful Effects Of Thumb Sucking in Sacramento, CA

Sucking is a natural reflex that aids in the provision of soothing security, contentment and an avenue for babies to interact with their world, While placing a thumb or another finger in the mouth provides some children with a sense of security during difficult times such as separation from parents or placement in unfamiliar surroundings or soothing comfort during nap or sleep time does not mitigate the harmful effects of these habits.

Some of the Harmful effects of thumb sucking and Pacifier habits:

  • Bite and Occlusion Problems: Misalignment of all kinds remains one of the more serious problems and can require orthodontic treatment for correction. Orthodontic treatment include treatment with conventional braces or Invisalign.
  • Tooth decay: This is mostly because of outside influences as in cases where parents put these pacifiers in their mouths prior to giving it to the children hence introducing decay causing bacteria.
  • Speech Impediment: The misalignment of teeth, jaw and palate can lead to speech problems as well as lisping which can affect the child’s communication skills.
  • Skin Problems: Cracking and bleeding of the preferred thumb increases the vulnerability to infection and skin disease.
  • Social Issues: Peer ridicule can also negatively affect the child.


The American Dental Association stipulates that most children break this habit between the ages of two to four years and like many parents seeking ways to help the child wean off this habit, Here are some of things to consider which have worked for our pediatric dental patients:

  • Avoid scolding or reprimands instead choose praise when the child does not suck the thumb or use the pacifier.
  • Focus on correcting the source of anxiety or insecurity.
  • Encourage other self-soothing alternatives such as holding a stuffed toy.
  • Positively reward the child for periods for not sucking the thumb.
  • Set time blocks and periods to help gradually wean child off.
  • Try breathing exercises when the child is older.
  • Encourage your dentist to talk to the child about stopping.

Bubbles Dental in Sacramento, CA

Sacramento, CA


6030 S Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822