Thumb sucking is one of the most common oral habits seen in children.

What is Thumb sucking?

Thumb sucking is forceful sucking of the thumb in children which will become an act out of repeated habit

Is Thumb sucking normal?

Thumb sucking is normal up to pre-school age i.e., till 2 years.

It becomes abnormal and creates problems to teeth and jaw if it persists beyond 2 years.

Why your child sucks their thumb?

Till 2 years of life your child performs thumb sucking due to various reasons like :

  1. Hunger
  2. Feeding problems
  3. Teething, etc.

Beyond 2 years it may be due to :

  1. Feeling of Insecurity
  2. Desire to draw attention
  3. Anxiety, fear

What you think will be the major causes of your child’s abnormal thumb sucking?

  • Working Mother– A major cause in today’s metropolitan cities like Chennai, Mumbai etc. Children brought up in the hands of caretaker may have feelings of insecurity that makes the child to suck their thumb.

Other causes include:

  1. Increased number of siblings at home
  2. Late order of birth at home
  3. Low socioeconomic status

What you can notice if your child is thumb sucking for long years?

Thumb and other fingers:

  1. Reddened
  2. Clean chapped
  3. Short finger nail


  1. Short upper lip
  2. Your child will not able to close lips at rest.


  1. Upper front teeth will be forwardly placed
  2. Front teeth bite of the child will be opened

What will be the effect of thumb sucking?

  1. Since the upper front teeth are forwardly placed. It is more common for your child to get teeth injury during play.
  2. Poor esthetic appearance while smiling.

How to prevent?

Since the major reason lies in psychological insecurity for the child, it is very important to provide a close emotional union between mother and the baby by proper breast feeding activities, spending ample amount of time with them and child’s engagement in various activities like sports.

Treatment considerations:

  1. Use of physiological nipple
  2. Applying neem oil, Asafetida over the digits
  3. Use of Elastic bandages , long-sleeve night gown

Parental counseling and motivation to child to stop the habit are always better provided by the pediatric dentist you visit.

He / she will also provide habit breaking appliances based on the extent of habit.

We are responsible for your child’s better smile!

One of our kid underwent treatment and ended in everlasting happy smile!!!

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