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Westerville, Ohio 43082
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Thumbsucking: What Parents Need to Know

Understanding Thumbsucking

Thumbsucking is a natural reflex for babies and young children. It can help them feel secure and happy, or help them fall asleep. However, when this habit continues beyond the early years, it may cause dental problems.

Potential Dental Issues

Prolonged thumbsucking can lead to:

  • Misaligned teeth
  • Bite problems, such as an open bite or overbite
  • Changes in the roof of the mouth

When to Be Concerned

Most children stop thumbsucking on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. If the habit continues beyond this age, or if you notice changes in your child’s teeth or mouth, it may be time to intervene.

Tips to Help Your Child Stop Thumbsucking

  1. Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward your child when they do not suck their thumb.
  2. Identify Triggers: Determine if certain situations prompt thumbsucking, such as boredom or stress, and address these triggers.
  3. Comfort Alternatives: Offer a substitute comfort object, like a favorite stuffed animal.
  4. Use Gentle Reminders: If your child is old enough, gently remind them not to suck their thumb.
  5. Involve Your Pediatric Dentist: Schedule a visit with us for personalized advice and potential treatment options.

When to See the Dentist

If you’re concerned about your child’s thumbsucking habit and its effects on their dental health, we’re here to help. Schedule an appointment with Westerville Pediatric Dental, and we’ll work with you to develop a plan that’s right for your child.

Your child’s healthy smile is our top priority!


By addressing the issue early and using positive reinforcement, you can help your child break the habit of thumbsucking and ensure their dental health. If you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team at Westerville Pediatric Dental. We’re here to support you every step of the way!

Why a Pediatric Dentist?