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Welcome, eCureMe.com medical contents search April 25, 2013
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Thumb Sucking

more about Thumb Sucking


  • This is a habit of children, in which the thumb is sucked as a comfort measure or for oral gratification.  It is a widespread habit of infants, and seen less in children over the age of 2 years.

  • Sucking on the thumb or other digits, sometimes with loud noises
  • Thumb sucking makes the child appear infantile to other people, especially if the child is 7 or 8 years of age or older.

  • Unknown

  • Observation makes the diagnosis

  • Wearing cotton gloves
  • Praise or reward when the thumb is out of the mouth
  • Dental appliances
  • Numerous treatments have been proposed.  It is doubtful that any treatment is successful except in those children who are self-motivated to give up the habit anyway.  Of the treatments proposed, none is recommended except distracting the child into another activity.

  • Physicians and dentists have varying opinions whether thumb-sucking makes the incisors of the upper jaw tend to separate from the straight-up-and-down position (flaring of the maxillary incisors), or malocclusion of the normal bite.
  • It may be that the free-floating anxiety the child experiences by years of interfering with thumb sucking is worse than the possible dental problems.

  • Praise the child when he or she tries to restrain the urge to suck the thumb.

  • Clenching the teeth or grinding the teeth are probably similar habits




more about Thumb Sucking


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