Consequences of Thumb Sucking

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Consequences of Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking seems like a reasonably harmless habit, right? Wrong. Thumb or finger sucking can cause long-term consequences for your child’s dental development when habits surpass age four. Also, finger sucking in public may subject your child to bullying or judgment from their peers. Your dentist in Red Deer can assist you and your child in breaking these habits. We will be taking a look at the side effects of prolonged thumb sucking.


A dental malocclusion is the most serious and permanent side effect of finger sucking. A malocclusion refers to misalignment of the teeth. Overbite and open bite are the two most prevalent malocclusion types. An overbite is categorized by front teeth that overlap with lower teeth when your mouth is closed. When a patient has an overbite, it can affect the shape of their smile and overall face. In the case of an extreme overbite, your child may require extensive orthodontic treatment.

Open Bite

An open bite occurs when the teeth aren’t aligned properly when the mouth is closed. Even when your child’s mouth is completely closed, their front teeth won’t touch if they have an open bite. Your child will require orthodontic treatment in the future to correct misalignment issues.

Speech Impediment

Thumb sucking affects the development of your child’s teeth, jaw, and palate. As a result, thumb sucking can also affect the way your child eats and speaks. Your child may develop speech impediments like a lisp. They might also have difficulties pronouncing the consonant sounds “D” and “T.”

Skin Issues

If your child sucks on their thumbs over the years, their skin can crack and bleed. Also, your child’s thumbs can begin to look calloused, and their thumbnail can become warped. Skin problems can be both uncomfortable and serious. If thumb sucking has caused major problems, you will have to intervene. Effective strategies to prevent thumb sucking include:

  • Bandaging the affected thumb
  • Placing a medical finger glove over their finger

It is important to visit your Red Deer dental clinic to address this issue.

Request an Appointment with Our Red Deer Dental Office