Thumb-sucking Therapy


Thumb‐sucking is a totally natural way for infants to self soothe. But if the habit continues too far beyond nappies it can lead to a number of problems like a dental open bite, a tongue thrust swallow or protruding teeth. Prolonged thumb‐sucking may cause poor alignment of teeth by pushing the top teeth outward, or lower teeth inward. This can affect their biting and result in jaw pain later.

Not good.

Most kids naturally stop between the age of 2 and 4 years, but don’t worry if your little one heads off to school with thumb firmly in mouth, as long as you intervene while your kids still have their baby teeth most of the effects are reversible.

The earlier you get onto it, the less likely orthodontic treatment will be needed later on. So come talk to us and we’ll set you up with the tools you need to help your little one nip the habit in the bud - with a minimum of fuss.

TEETH BEFORE

TEETH AFTER 4 WEEKS THUMB SUCKING TREATMENT


Treatment option:

A three month treatment ($250) a Thumb Sucking Quit Kit which includes control it cream, figit digit and progress charts and ongoing support and advice

FAQ

Help! My 4 year old is still sucking her thumb.  Should I be worried?

The short answer is not really. Children can safely suck their thumb until their permanent teeth begin to appear at around 6 years old. That said, like any habit, the earlier you get onto it, the better your chances of kicking it.

It’s also important to note that not all thumb-sucking is equally damaging. It's the intensity of the sucking and the tongue's thrust that deforms teeth and makes braces necessary later. For instance, if your little one rests their thumb passively in their mouths for a couple of minutes a day while they’re going off to sleep, they’re much less likely to have dental problems than their little buddy who sucks intensely all day long.

My child still loves his dummy. Is that ok?

Dummies have the advantage of being able to be physically removed (unlike thumbs!) Most kids run into problems when the sucking habit is so engrained that when the dummy’s taken away they resort to their thumb to satisfy the sucking urge. Again it's the intensity of the sucking and the tongue's thrust that deforms teeth and makes braces necessary later.

Is thumb sucking really that big a problem?

In the grand scheme of health complaints it might seem like thumb sucking is fairly harmless. And up to a point it is. But if it goes on too long it can have a major effect on the appearance of the teeth, and even the growth of the face.

The teeth and facial bones are very pliable up to the age of 15 or 16 causing dental problems like

Buck Teeth: Prominent upper front teeth

Open Bite: The teeth don’t bite together at the front

Posterior Crossbite: The upper side teeth bite inside the lowers

Tipping back or crowding of the lower front teeth

As well as affecting the appearance of the teeth, thumb sucking can also damage a child’s bite. This can affect the way they chew, swallow and even talk, leading to lisps and other speech impediments.

I’ve tried everything to get my little one to stop. Why would you guys do any better?

Our programme is the result of years of local and international research, and annoyingly most kids respond a lot better when they’re taught and encouraged by someone who’s not their parent. Grrrrrr.