Babies and children often suck on thumbs, fingers or pacifiers. This is a common practice as it helps children and babies feel comfortable and is a natural reflex for them. As natural as this reflex is for babies and children, it can damage teeth and mouths if they last too long.
Babies are born with a natural need or desire to breastfeed. As they get older, they sometimes suck their thumbs when they feel hungry, restless, anxious, or tired. Children tend to naturally wean around the age of 3. However, if breastfeeding continues after 5 years of age, it may be a sign of emotional distress or problems.
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Thumb sucking or pacifier sucking often helps the baby calm down and then fall asleep more easily. However, if children are allowed to suck on pacifiers, thumbs, or fingers after their teeth have come out, major problems can arise.
Aggressive or even non-aggressive thumb sucking can damage the alignment of the teeth and require expensive dental care in the future. Excessive sucking on the pacifier after teething can even lead to many middle ear infections and sometimes requires surgery to correct the problem.
Some of the long-term effects of thumb sucking for 5-6 years are:
- Squeezing of the teeth, which can cause the formation of excessive bites or bites
- The whisper occurs because the constant suction of the thumb can affect the position of the jawbone
- Microbes from your thumb and surroundings that affect your body
- The roof of the mouth changes or is more sensitive