July 9, 2015

4 Facts about Thumb Sucking

Fact 1. Is Thumb Sucking Normal?

All babies have sucking reflexes. Sucking is soothing to babies.


Fact 2. Why Should Thumb Sucking Stop?

If the incessant thumb sucking is causing front teeth to flare out or making the jaw grow abnormally, thumb sucking should be stopped.

Some children get teased about thumb-sucking in public and can hurt their self-esteem or result in getting bullied.


Fact 3. When Should My Child Stop?

Most children stop thumb sucking on their own around from ages 2-4. For older children, peer pressure from school usually ends the habit. We recommend that thumb sucking be stopped at the latest by age 4.


Fact 4. What Can I Do to Stop Thumb Sucking?

Positive Reinforcement: Offer praise or small reward every time you catch your child not thumb sucking.

Find the Trigger: Many children thumb suck as a way of soothing themselves. Sometimes, traumatic or stressful event can revert the behaviour.

Prevention Products: Bitter tasting products such as Mavala Stop can deter children from sucking their thumb.

Dental Appliance: If all else fails, a dentist can place a discreet appliance to stop thumb sucking.



Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.


“Dr. Choi and her staff at Playtime Pediatric Dentistry were amazing with my 3 year old son who needed to get a cavity filled. Going to the appointment I was anxious about how my son would react and about the effects of sedation. When I walked into Dr. Choi's dental practice I felt immediately more at ease. From the very child-appealing decor, to their patient and caring approach, Dr. Ella and her staff know that treating children is about much more than completing a dental procedure. They were very skilled in making my son feel as comfortable as possible and have everything set up to make things go smoothly. I was very impressed and would highly recommend Dr. Choi to other parents. Michelle Q.”