Thumb Sucking

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for babies that provides security and isn't typically a concern in very young children. However, once a child's permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking can cause damage to the roof of the mouth and the adult teeth coming in.

When Is It A Problem?

Most children stop sucking their thumbs on their own by the time they are 6 or 7 months old or between ages 2 and 4.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says treatment should be limited to children who continue thumb sucking after turning 5.  A child's permanent teeth usually are beginning to erupt and thumb sucking can begin to affect the shape of the palate (roof of the mouth) as well as the alignment of permanent teeth.

What Can I Do?

Thumb sucking can be a very difficult habit to break.  Orthodontics can often provide a solution to thumb sucking by cementing a palatal appliance, often referred to as a thumb guard, that blocks the thumb from resting in the mouth.  Treatment with a thumb guard is extremely effective in stopping the behavior.

If you're concerned about the effect of thumb sucking on your child's teeth and palatal development, we would be happy to discuss your concerns during a free consultation!

Karski & Spokane Orthodontics

David Spokane and Melissa Karski are committed to providing the very best orthodontic and dental care to valued patients throughout the state of Pennsylvania. We are affiliated we several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Board of Orthodontics
  • American Association of Orthodontists
  • American Dental Association

You can schedule an appointment at one of our six convenient office locations today by calling (724) 591-5758 or sending us a message. We will get back to you shortly. 

Contact Us Today

"Highly satisfied with my child's ortho procedure. The entire process has been seamless even with the pandemic. The website and patient portal is user friendly, but should you need to call the office for any reason, a staff member always answers in a friendly manner.  The Ambridge office is stunning, it's like waking into a super hero museum.  Everybody's favorite super hero can be found.  Dr. Spokane has a great chair side manner, upbeat and friendly.  My child was nervous at first but his fear quickly went away with the super comfortable atmosphere.  I recommend Dr. Spokane to all my friends and family." Cymone Bronaugh

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