The Real Effects Of Thumb Sucking

effects of thumb sacking

Most every parent encounters thumb sucking at some point in their child’s development. While most kids seem to grow out of the habit naturally as they age, especially as they begin enjoying solid foods in a new variety of textures and flavors, some kids stick to their thumb sucking and refuse to give it up. Experts believe that thumb sucking is a response to stress – kids feel stressed out by all kinds of things as they age, and thumb sucking acts as a kind of comforting action that helps soothe the nerves and quiet the mind. Once they feel the positive effects of thumb sucking, they create a pattern that leads to a deep habit over a short time. For parents this can be extremely frustrating because the damaging effects of thumb sucking are many.

The main concern among parents when it comes to habitual thumb sucking is damage to the teeth, mouth, and jaw. Time and time again dentists have dealt with maloclusions and other dental issues that can take years to repair – even in kids who stopped the habit before their teeth came in. Since it’s natural for babies to suck as this is connected to breastfeeding and learning to work with the mouth when they begin eating solid foods, the habit often runs deep and can even happen in the sleep. Kids often thumb suck far more often than parents even realize!

Another issue that’s common in kids with thumb sucking habits is skin issues. The constant stream of saliva that bathes the mouth, chin, and fingers contains digestive enzymes which can be extremely irritating and even harmful to the skin. These acids work on the skin over time and can create sensitivity, rashes, inflammation, itching, and even infection.

The good news is that there are some great ways to help break the thumb sucking habit in your child without causing them a lot of extra stress. This article from WebMD has a lot of great points, and there are ever YouTube videos dedicated to helping break the thumbsucking problem.

Does your child deal with thumb sucking?
How have you noticed it impact their health?
What have you done to help curb the habit?

Share with us in the comments below!

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