Thumbsucking & Pacifiers

Giving up the thumbs.


Some children will want to suck their thumbs, others may want a pacifier. If you're lucky, they won't want either. Both can be hard habits to break, and both can mean trouble for teeth.

Here's why: When constant pressure is placed on teeth they move. That is the concept behind braces. So, if your child is constantly pushing their teeth open and outward with a finger, pacifier, or sippy cup their teeth will move along with the pressure resulting in an "open bite". Not only is this an aesthetic issue, but also a serious functional one. Swallowing, breathing, speaking, and chewing are all compromised. If you ask me, these are all very important functions!

Dr. Kady recommends using a pacifier until age 1, then, eliminating the habit before 18 months. As for those thumb suckers out there… well, it's a bit more complicated because you can't throw their fingers away! Dr. Kady will be happy to speak to you at length about what you can do to help kick the habit before its too late. If your child is age 5 or older, download our "thumb free" calendar to help stop the habit.