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Doctor insights on: Thumbsucking

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Dr. David May
30 doctors shared insights

Thumbsucking (Overview)

Dentists generally call these, digit habits, fingers thumb, finger nails. If the person seems to have their fingers in their mouth after the initial eruption of the primary teeth they may have developed the habit. It can be a soothing reflex but can cause growth alterations in the eruption of the teeth and bone growth.


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What can I do to break my thumbsucking habit?

What can I do to break my thumbsucking habit?

Many things: This obviously has become a habit at your age. There are some things which you can paint on your thumb which taste horrible and may prevent you from putting you thumb back in you mouth. On children, I use a loose fitting glove which works great. ...Read more

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Dr. David May
30 doctors shared insights

Thumbsucking (Overview)

Dentists generally call these, digit habits, fingers thumb, finger nails. If the person seems to have their fingers in their mouth after the initial eruption of the primary teeth they may have developed the habit. It can be a soothing reflex but can cause growth alterations in the eruption of the teeth and bone growth.


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My 2.5 year old has slightly bucked teeth from thumbsucking. Does this mean her adult teeth will be bucked?

My 2.5 year old has slightly bucked teeth from thumbsucking. Does this mean her adult teeth will be bucked?

Not necessarily: There's enough elasticity in growing children that slightly displaced teeth respond well to discontinuing thumb or finger habit by age 4. If continued beyond then, can cause permanent deformation that requires more complex treatment. Has to do with both intensity and duration. If you're concerned, see a pediatric dentist or an orthodontist for an opinion. It's never too early to learn. ...Read more

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Are braces, buckteeth and thumbsucking related?

Sort of: Braces (orthodontics) are used to correct "buckteeth", or teeth that are forward/protruding... Thumbsucking is one (not the only) of the causes for buckteeth. ...Read more

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How do I get rid of hyper pigmintattion?

How do I get rid of hyper pigmintattion?

Hydroquinone: Hyperpigmentation if often caused be inflammation du to injury or infection and the action of the sun. Hydroquinone, and sunscreens can revers the process and improve the hyperpigmentation. ...Read more

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Any suggestions to get a 14-year old to stop thumbsucking?

Any suggestions to get a 14-year old to stop thumbsucking?

Yes: At this point you must have a concern as to what is causing the young person to continue a habit which most children leave behind by the age of 4 or 5. Your first stop needs to be the dentist, although, it would seem that the child will most likely need braces from all the years of thumb-sucking. A family therapy session may be a good idea, to find the source of the situation. ...Read more

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How do I stop myself from thumbsucking?

Dental appliance: At age thirty, a dental appliance is needed and possibly some biofeedback. ...Read more

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What can I do to break my thumbsucking habit?

Many things: This obviously has become a habit at your age. There are some things which you can paint on your thumb which taste horrible and may prevent you from putting you thumb back in you mouth. On children, I use a loose fitting glove which works great. ...Read more

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What are ways to break the habit of thumbsucking?

What are ways to break the habit of thumbsucking?

Determination: You can paint on pepper flavored polish, or make them wear mittens, or even have a cemented dental appliance called a rake, but until your child wants to stop, it is almost impossible to break the habit. I have found giving them a goal and having them work towards it for 28 days straight is effective. ...Read more

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What can I do to break my childs thumbsucking habit?

Choose a battle: It isn't an easy habit to break and more times than not... It might have to run its time.
They do have that stuff you can paint on their nails but some kids like that after a while.
What we recommend it to place a sock over the hand that contains those delicious fingers. Or both if need be. If they pull off the sock... Tape it to their arm or pjs. ...Read more

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Please advise what is a good way to stop thumbsucking?

Please advise what is a good way to stop thumbsucking?

See Orthodontist: If you are asking with regard to a child, then you can see an orthodontist about an appliance called an orthodontic thumb rake. It's a dental appliance that is placed in the child's mouth — similar to braces — and it gently pokes your child's thumb every time he/she tries to suck on their thumb. It is very effective in stopping the habit. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: Thumbsucking?

What is the definition or description of: Thumbsucking?

Thumb sucking: Dentists generally call these, digit habits, fingers thumb, finger nails. If the person seems to have their fingers in their mouth after the initial eruption of the primary teeth they may have developed the habit. It can be a soothing reflex but can cause growth alterations in the eruption of the teeth and bone growth. ...Read more

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How can I stop my 4-year-old from thumbsucking?

How can I stop my 4-year-old from thumbsucking?

Stop thumb suck: Limit the time s/he sucks their thumb to the bedroom inside the house and not outside. Praise when s/he is not doing it. Help them understand that when they stop, you will be there for them. You may allow thumb or finger sucking after being hurt/injured. Make them aware of the behavior. Supply an alternative object of desire. They will eventually outgrow the behaviors. Kids eventually give up. ...Read more

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Any suggestions to get a 14-year old to stop thumbsucking?

Yes: At this point you must have a concern as to what is causing the young person to continue a habit which most children leave behind by the age of 4 or 5. Your first stop needs to be the dentist, although, it would seem that the child will most likely need braces from all the years of thumb-sucking. A family therapy session may be a good idea, to find the source of the situation. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer
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Are braces, buckteeth and thumbsucking related?

Sort of: Braces (orthodontics) are used to correct "buckteeth", or teeth that are forward/protruding... Thumbsucking is one (not the only) of the causes for buckteeth. ...Read more

See 3 more doctor answers
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Can thumbsucking affect your teeth up?

Can thumbsucking affect your teeth up?

Yes: All it takes to move teeth is a little of pressure and a lot of time. If someone sucks their thumb for enough hours of the day they will cause the upper front teeth to shift. ...Read more

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Can thumbsucking lead to brain hypoxia?

Can thumbsucking lead to brain hypoxia?

No: Thumbsucking can have adverse affects on your teeth and their alignment, but I am not aware of any risk of brain hypoxia. ...Read more

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Can thumbsucking at night lead to buck teeth? How to getrid of the habit?

Can thumbsucking at night lead to buck teeth? How to getrid of the habit?

Perhaps: Effects of pernicious digit habit influenced by intensity & duration. Thumb sucking can cause buck teeth, open bite, posterior collapse resulting in cross bite, affect speech and swallowing. Depending on child's age should see pedodontist or orthodontist for evaluation. No 2 children alike. Have to be examined to be evaluated to see if treatment indicated or not. ...Read more

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My 2.5 year old has slightly bucked teeth from thumbsucking. Does this mean her adult teeth will be bucked?

Not necessarily: There's enough elasticity in growing children that slightly displaced teeth respond well to discontinuing thumb or finger habit by age 4. If continued beyond then, can cause permanent deformation that requires more complex treatment. Has to do with both intensity and duration. If you're concerned, see a pediatric dentist or an orthodontist for an opinion. It's never too early to learn. ...Read more

See 2 more doctor answers
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I had been sucking my thumb for 16 years. I already have braces (and stopped thumbsucking). Will it be able to correct my teeth problem??

I had been sucking my thumb for 16 years. I already have braces (and stopped thumbsucking). Will it be able to correct my teeth problem??

You should: If everything goes well with your orthodontic treatment and you wear your retainer as prescribed by your orthodontist, I don't see any reason why your teeth should not look great. And definitely since you stopped the bad habit of sucking your thumb, I think you are on your way. Good luck. ...Read more

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