Thumb sucking is more of a norm than an exception in kids and is considered non threatening upto 3-4 years of age. While many parents want to wean the child off this habit owing to social awkwardness, thumb sucking has serious dental implications especially if it persists around the time of permanent teeth eruption. A child resorts to thumb sucking to combat every situation like hunger, loneliness, anxiety, boredom, anger, stress, despair etc. because it has a soothing effect and becomes habitual with time. Breaking this cycle is an extremely daunting task but it is imperative as it does more harm than any good.


  • Forwardly placed upper teeth
  • Frequent positioning of thumb between tongue and backside of teeth results in “OPEN BITE”- significant gap between upper and lower set of teeth on closure of mouth
  • Facial deformity by interrupting with proper growth of jaw bones (especially palate) and musculature
  • Speech defects due to improper pronunciation
  • Develop misaligned bite patterns
  • Hypotonic upper lip
  • Crossbite where lower teeth overlap the upper teeth
  • Placing dirty fingers inside the mouth can result in both dental infections and general ill-effects


  • Make the child stand in front of the mirror while sucking his thumb and make him realize how silly it looks NOW that he/she is grown up.
  • Whenever you see the thumb in their mouth, engage the child positively by diverting their attention to some interesting activity or toy.
  • Set goals for the kid everyday to avoid this habit and reward him with something daily he/she sincerely desires.
  • Educate him/her that continuing the habit will necessitate prolonged treatment at dental office to bring his teeth back in the right place.
  • Thumb sucking is contagious like any other habit. Make sure you form a strong parent lobby and work against this habit together in your child’s friend circle.
  • Cover the thumb with socks/gloves during nighttime to avoid unconscious sucking.
  • Introduce sipping cups around 3-4 years of age to break the sucking cycle (PACIFIERS ARE EQUALLY DETRIMENTAL AS THUMB SUCKING)
  • Reassure them with love, kindness and encouragement if they fail initially because scolding or punishment never helps!


If nothing works, bring your child to DENTAL PANACHE, best dental clinic in Gurgaon, India, for professional intervention in the form of thumb guard or oral habit breaking appliance to abstain entry of thumb inside the mouth! If teeth alignment is already disturbed, braces treatment will be needed at an appropriate age.

Specialists at Dental Panache pay extra emphasis on child psychology and counseling to help them imbibe the right habits at the right age. Our expertise in oral development and dental health will ensure a smooth dental experience for your little ones. Book an appointment at the earliest at +917290073613.

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