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Can Finger and Thumb-Sucking Damage Toddler Teeth?

Do you ever wonder when your child should stop sucking their thumb? Do you ever wonder if thumb or finger-sucking is causing damage to toddler’s teeth? As both a mom and a dentist, this is a question I too had to ask. The answer to this is yes and no. Many toddlers love the comfort that thumb or finger sucking provides.

They feel safe, secure, and comforted by this small, seemingly harmless act. In fact, they often feel so comforted by it that we, as parents, are more concerned about making them stop rather than the potential damage it may cause. Especially because we know that the process will likely be full of tantrums and more sleepless nights!

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The thumb and finger sucking can be safe for teeth toddlers up to a certain age range. In general, the thumb or finger sucking safely until about the age of four. Children who suck their thumbs or fingers will get what they usually call the public “against the teeth.” This is when the teeth in the front of the mouth begin to stick out and it looks great and out of line with the other teeth.

This happens because the children’s teeth are easily transferred, and therefore take the form of any object placed between them. So, in time, you will find that the thumb or finger fits like a key in the lock in front of the tooth-sucking toddler’s mother.