Digit Sucking

Digit sucking (or thumbsucking) is a habit that occurs in infants. Children usually give up digit sucking by the age of four. How it affects the dental occlusion(bite) and jaw formation depends on the frequency, duration, intensity of the habit and position of the digit in the child’s mouth.  If the child continues this habit past the age when their permanent teeth start to erupt, they will probably develop crooked teeth and a malformed roof of their mouth. This can affect the position of the upper and lower jaw and can also affect speech.

Suggestions to break the habit:

  • Wait till the time is right (low stress).
  • Use a reward chart system (small incentives will encourage your child to stick with it). If this is not effective try again in several months.