Thumb sucking does not have many bad effects on children with baby teeth. However, once the permanent teeth are in, thumb sucking can cause problems in aligning the teeth.
In adults, bite problems and oral health can worsen unless corrected by removing braces or stopping the behavior. You can also buy the best thumb sucking glove for your child.
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The consequences of thumb sucking may be more severe if they suck their thumb vigorously or frequently.
Thumb sucking in children can cause several other side effects:
Improper teeth (improper tooth closure)
Thumb sucking can make difficulties with the alignment of the teeth and conditions such as excessive biting.
The upper and lower teeth can also lean outward. This is known as an anterior open bite. In some cases, the lower incisors can start working on the tongue.
Changes in the roof of the mouth
Sucking on the thumb can cause the roof of the mouth to shrink and become sunken. The roof of the mouth can also become more sensitive to touch and sensation.
Without careful hand washing, thumb sucking can carry dirt and bacteria into their mouth and possibly lead to tooth or gum infections.
Problems with the thumb
Strong or prolonged suction of the thumb can change the shape of the thumb, making it thinner or longer.