Problems that come with thumb sucking

22 Dec
thumb sucking

" Do not suck your thumb; it's a bad habit!" 

At one point in our lives, we have been on the receiving end of this line from our parents, teachers, and most importantly, our dentists. It is also possible that we are saying the same things to the children around us as adults. Have you ever wondered why? Why does thumb-sucking get such a bad rep, and what does it do anyway? 

Inside the womb, thumb sucking happens to be a baby's natural habit; it makes them feel safe and sound. After entering the real world, a child may continue this habit as it validates them and makes them feel safe like they felt inside their mother's womb. Most newborns will leave this habit on their own by the time they turn one. However, in some cases, it may continue, and that is when it becomes a cause of concern. 

Habitual and chronic thumb sucking, especially when the teeth are erupting, can cause major oral and overall health problems. Thumb sucking can lead to misaligned teeth creating malocclusion. The force pushes the teeth out, which causes overbites and openbites. These orthodontic misalignments can create a speech impediment down the line, like a lisp, as it interferes with pronunciations. Moreover, it can change the way the lips seal, leading to improper lip closure. It can also impact facial growth patterns and can lead to facial disproportion. In addition, thumb sucking is unhygienic and can cause infectious diseases. Therefore, it is essential to put a stop to thumb-sucking at the right time.

The good news is that it can be managed with the help of a board-certified orthodontist, Dr. Pancko, at Wilmington Orthodontic Center. Schedule an appointment today to ensure good oral and overall health.