Coquitlam Family Othrodontics

Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit

Posted in articles, Orthodontic Treatment Options

Breaking the Thumb Sucking Habit

Although thumb sucking is a natural and healthy behaviour in babies, it can result in the development of a malocclusion once the permanent teeth begin to erupt.


Babies suck their thumbs and pacifiers for comfort. This behaviour should not be discouraged in babies and very small children. Most of them stop sucking their thumbs between the ages of 2 and 4. Up until this time, thumb sucking is both natural and healthy, and nothing to worry about!

When should thumb sucking stop?

You’ll begin to run into trouble if your child continues to suck his or her thumb or pacifier after the permanent teeth start to erupt.

Continued thumb sucking can disrupt the cormal alignment of permanent teeth as they grow in. Basically, it may cause permanent teeth to erupt in the wrong positions.

How can I help my child break the thumb sucking habit?

Most of the time, breaking this habit isn’t too difficult. Here are a few things you can try if it’s time for your child to stop sucking his or her thumb:

  • Praise your child for not sucking
  • Correct any causes of anxiety or discomfort for your child whenever possible, and provide alternative forms of comfort
  • Let older children participate in the habit breaking process
  • Have your dentist or orthodontist talk to your child about thumb sucking, and encourage him or her to stop.

If the above methods aren't effective additional measures may be necessary to break your child’s thumb sucking habit. Get in touch with Coquitlam Family Orthodontics today. We’re here to help!

Book your NO-OBLIGATION Consultation today with Coquitlam Family Orthodontics!