Habit Development

After the age of five, thumb sucking can cause front teeth to protrude forward, teeth to be unable to clench together properly, or a lisp. Braces or a retainer may be required to correct the oral problems created by prolonged thumb sucking. To avoid having to spend unnecessary time and money at the orthodontist’s office, try to help your child break their thumb-sucking habit if it continues past the age of five.

Suggestions to break the habit:

  • Wait until the time is right (low stress).
  • Motivate your child (show examples of what could happen to their teeth and fingers/thumbs).
  • Use a reward system (small incentives will encourage your child to stick with it).