Dentist Questions Pediatric Dentistry

My son is sucking his thumb with adult teeth. What can happen?

My son sucked his thumb with his baby teeth, and we brought this up to the dentist but he said it was okay as long as he doesn't have adult teeth yet. Now that he's 7-years-old, his first couple of teeth came in and he still does it. Will he experience any issues because his adult teeth came in?

12 Answers

He will probably need an orthodontist
He can develop buck teeth on his adult teeth. These teeth will be more likely to have trauma if he falls and they can break. Also it can guarantee that he will need orthodontics. You should encourage him to stop, otherwise you can go to a pediatric dentist that can make a retainer-like appliance to get him to stop sucking his thumb.
Yes, it can cause flaring of adult teeth, speech problems, and self image issues. I would get a consultation with an orthodontist to see about an appliance to help aid your child in quitting their thumb sucking habit if at home methods have not been successful.
Good day

It will be better to correct this habit because it can interfere with teeth growth, which may result in open bite.

Kind Regards

Dr. Chun-I Lee
Thumb sucking can sometimes cause misalignment of your child's permanent teeth and affect the jaw or the shape and roof of the mouth. Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on correcting the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child. For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping. We can offer encouragement to your child and explain what could happen to their teeth if they do not stop sucking.
Yes he will. You need to take him to a Pedodentist. This children dental specialist will examine him and recommend a solution to the problem.
Thumb sucking with permanent teeth can cause the permanent teeth to move out of normal position and may eventually require orthodontics treatment to correct.
Yes, he may have open bite and bird profile
This can move teeth and create a malocclusion, even reforming the bone in a poor position. Positive reinforcement to stop this habit is recommended between the dentist and the parents.
Thumb sucking after permanent teeth come in can cause teeth alignment problems, changes to the roof of the mouth, and improper growth of the mouth. Thumb sucking can cause open bite, which is gap or space between upper and lower front teeth when teeth are fully biting.
Our teeth are where they are in our mouth because of the forces acting on them like lips and tongue.The issue with digit (thumbs, fingers) sucking is that we are introducing different forces to push the teeth and bone to different form. Now that the permanent teeth are coming in, we are moving to finale molding of those shapes and positions. Getting those digits out of the mouth. There a number of different strategies to try to accomplish this. Employing multiple at the same time usually works best. A cognitive therapy like explaining to the child that the digits are causing a problem in the formation of his/her teeth, jaws, face, and the benefit of stopping. Address why the child is sucking the digits and alternate healthier habits. There are physical barriers that can be used with varying success like socks on hands at bedtime to cribs in the mouth to prevent digits in the mouth. Talk to your dentist about the options and referrals if necessary.
Thumb (or finger) sucking can alter the shape of the upper jaw causing functional, dental, skeletal and cosmetic problems. This habit should be dealt with ASAP.