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Michael Jory, DMD
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Stockton, CA 95207

Pediatric FAQs

Thumb Sucking

It is completely normal and healthy for your baby or young child to suck on a thumb, finger, or pacifier. Children usually give up sucking habits on their own by the time they are 4 to 5 years old.

If they stop the habit at this age, the shape of the jaw is usually not affected and the teeth grow in normally.

Children who continue sucking on a pacifier, finger, or thumb when their permanent adult teeth start to come in are more likely to have bite problems.

Sucking can cause:
- The top front teeth to slant out
- The bottom front teeth to tilt in
- The upper and lower jaws to be misaligned
- The roof of the mouth to be narrowed
- The need for braces

Treatment: Your doctor may decide to construct an appliance to discourage thumb sucking.

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