Long-Term Importance of Thumb Sucking Prevention

Thumb sucking is something seen as adorable in the infant, but as our kids grow to toddlers there is the potential for dental and other issues. Thumb sucking can be a problem if it lasts too long, causing issues like overbites, speech impairments, and more. An additional long-term problem that comes from thumb sucking is the eventual need for braces or other teeth straightening.

Help from a Thumb Sucking Guard

Any number of guards and appliances are available to help prevent thumb and finger sucking. If you notice your child sucking their thumb after use of a bottle has stopped, or well into the third year of life, it may be time to make an effort to stop this action. Some items that can help include:

  • Finger guards for kids
  • Finger guards for toddlers
  • Plastic thumb guards
  • Tguard aerothumb
  • Tguard classic
  • Tguard finger guard

With many of these being as much as 90% effective in stopping thumb sucking in kids, there is a great potential to help prevent long-term dental and speech issues.

Health Problems Resulting from Thumb Sucking

Note that almost all babies suck their thumbs as a natural reflex. However, after the age of two or two (typically about the age that they have switched completely to solid food), thumb sucking is more of a habit than a reflex, and it will continue for another three or four years if nothing is done to stop it. Without a thumb sucking guard or other appliance, there is the potential that kids will continue to suck their thumb even past the age of six. Some of these issues include the following:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Speech impairments
  • Crooked teeth

Hopefully, with the long-term prevention of these issues, there is much to be said for the cost-savings potential. There will be less need for doctors and dentists who treat issues like overbites, underbites, and speech impairments. Then there are the extensive costs of orthodontic care like braces and retainers. Additionally, with the ability to keep kids from continuing to suck their thumbs upon entering preschool and kindergarten, there is much more potential for positive social development. With thumb sucking being something not typically accepted of those who are over about two or three years old, then there is much room for social exclusion when this is considered unacceptable. So, while it may not be necessary to punish kids for sucking their thumbs it is likely a good idea to take action with a thumb sucking guard if it seems that they will continue longer than is typically acceptable.

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