Thumb Sucking In Children – Till what age is it normal? Jan 18 2023

Thumb Sucking In Children – Till what age is it normal?

Thumb sucking or finger sucking in children is a very common oral habit prevalent worldwide.

Although, many of the parents feel that the child might leave it eventually, the query arises till what age should it be overlooked?

Is it normal for the child to suck his/her thumb? What can be done to intercept this habit?

Read on to know all about it.

Why is thumb/ finger sucking a problem?

Well, a child sucking its thumb can be pretty normal and a source of fulfilling the urge for nutrition till the child turns 3 and it doesn’t cause a problem till that age.

But, prolonged thumb sucking beyond 3 years can lead to the following issues in kids-

 1. Teeth jetting out /forwardly placed teeth

 2. Open bite

3. Gaps in front teeth 

4. Narrow upper tooth arch

Inability to close the lips while at rest ( incompetent lips)

Not just dental, a child can even have other problems like-

1. Lack of confidence in a child 

2. Shy/conscious to smile

3. Chapped fingers 

4. Formation of fibrous tissue on the thumb/finger being sucked


What causes thumb-sucking?

There can be multiple co-factors for prolonged thumb sucking and parents' attention does make a great impact. To name some –

1.  Lack of attention from parents (working parents)

2.  A child feels left out/lonely due to the busy schedule of parents or their lack of availability

3.  A child having one or more siblings divides the attention of parents 

4.  An unmet need for adequate nutrition


What can be done to stop this habit? Will bitter homely things work??

Firstly, if the habit of thumb sucking or finger sucking extends beyond 3 years of age, then it is very crucial to visit a kid's dentist and get dental counselling to intercept the habit. It can easily be done without the need for any plates or any intervention at such a small age. 

Counselling the child and motivating him/her to stop usually brings the desired results.

If counselling doesn’t help -

The kid's dentist has a plethora of treatment options available which are not only efficient but also less troubling for the child. 

Like elbow guards, thumb caps, tapes, long sleeve gowns at night and lastly some removable and fixed oral appliances which the kid is made to wear till the time the habit ceases.

These require regular follow-up and have promising results.


Always remember, the best gift a parent can give the child is good health and dental health plays a crucial part in the overall growth and development of a child too.

So, get a dental checkup done on a priority basis for the child with the best dentist for children in Delhi. Visit now.

Schedule Your Consultation

Clinic 1 : Aspen Dentals
SPO 223, 2nd floor, Office Block DLF South Point Mall, Golf Course Road, Sector 53, Gurugram

Clinic 2 : Vasant Vihar
A10/3, Block A, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 110057

Clinic 3 : Gums n Braces
Block O, House no 15, Lower Ground floor, South City 1 near Sec 40 Police Station, Gurugram, 122001

Clinic 4 : Aspen Dentals
Kids & Adult Dentistry 118, 119, Tower II, M3M Tee point, near Trump Towers, Sector 65, Gurugram, Haryana 122102

Clinic 5 : Chittaranjan Park
Dr. Raghu Ram clinic, J 1850, Bipin Chandra Pal Marg, J-Block, Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi, Delhi 110019

Timings: Monday to Sunday: 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM


Phone: +91 8595300447

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