Myth Proven: Thumb Sucking Can Lead to Buck Teeth

Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

It is a precious sight for parents when they see their newborn baby playfully giggling and sucking their thumb. Some often worry about bacteria and germs that that babies may be placing in their mouth but others also hold the belief that thumb sucking can lead to buck teeth. David Horwitz, a pediatrician at the New York University School of Medicine, was able to show that this is in fact not a myth.

It has been shown that about 80% of infants and children tend to suck on their thumbs, which is a behavior that has been considered rather normal during the first few years after birth. However, thumb sucking can start causing problems down the line. The American Dental Association predicts that by age 6, a child’s permanent teeth start to come in and it is very likely that misalignment of teeth, also know as malocclusion, can occur. If a child continues to suck his or her thumb, the thumb slowly pushes the top teeth out, changing the relationship between a child’s upper and lower jaw. This movement may go unnoticed to parents, but can be identified by the orthodontist.

Dr. Horwitz explains that this thumb sucking habit can be noticed early on in child development. Ultrasounds of mothers often show babies that seem to be sucking their thumbs even in the womb. Dr. Horwitz believes that some babies may be thumb suckers since the time there are born. It has been recommended that parents can put socks or gloves on babies’ hands before they sleep at night. There are also dental devices that can be placed on the roofs of babies’ mouths to make thumb sucking more difficult.

We have a great pediatric dentist that would be happy to evaluate your child. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *