Thumb sucking is a rite of passage for infants worldwide. This natural reflex makes newborns, infants and toddlers feel safe and happy. Alas, by age 5, thumb sucking can become a permanent dental problem for young children.
Dental professionals universally give long-term thumb sucking a thumbs down for the long-term damage it can inflict on children’s oral health. If children continue to thumb suck after permanent teeth come in, the habit can cause problems with both tooth alignment and your child’s bite. The aggressiveness, frequency and duration of thumb sucking will determine whether dental problems will emerge.