For all of you Thumb Suckers

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At very young age, babies discover their thumbs.  When I say at an early age, I mean in the womb.  Some people even see pictures of their child in the womb sucking their thumbs.  According to an article on Howstuffworks, just about 80% of babies develop the habit of sucking their thumbs.  With such a majority, it was interesting to find out that sucking your thumb can have negative affects on the development of your mouth.

A large portion of babies that suck their thumbs lose that habit before their baby teeth fall out.  However, if they continue to suck their thumb when their permanent teeth come in, it can have negative repercussions.  According to the article, the damage can consist of many things including, but not limited to, abnormal alignment of teeth, damage to the roof of the mouth, and/or buck teeth.  All of the damages could potentially require dental work which is not cheap by any means.

Aside from the damage, it is very difficult to make the child quit the habit.  Doctors recommend using positive reinforcement when attempting to make the child quit the habit.  So instead of scolding the child when they are sucking their thumb, it is better to inform them at an early age that sucking your thumb can have negative affects on the development of the mouth.  In other words, the child needs to have a desire to quit.  The process typically takes thirty to sixty days to be fully complete.  Doctors also say that when the child attends preschool they observe other students not sucking their thumbs which makes them want to fit in with the other students.  

Thumb sucking has become a prominent issue in recent years because of the potential damages to the development of the mouth in children.  It was interesting to see the science behind it and to find out that there have been many studies done on the subject.  However, I can't imagine the habit ever disappearing from society due to its stress relieving reactions.          

1 Comment

Thumb Sucking
Apparently it is normal for babies to suck their thumbs while holding a treasured object like a toy. Also, normal thumb sucking will stop once they begin to go to school. After this point it is healthy to get them to kick the habit before any mouth damage occurs. Thumb sucking is also known to lead to the need for braces because of the affect it has on teeth.

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