Aspects of Thumb-Sucking in Kids: Is it Problematic?

Parents often wonder if their kids’ thumb-sucking is a big deal. The short answer is that it really depends. The long answer is that we have to understand all aspects of thumb-sucking and what’s going on in their lives.   

Thumb-sucking, or non-nutritive sucking habits, is a natural part of a child’s development. In fact, it’s estimated that 85-90% of kids suck their thumb or fingers at some point in their lives. You can look for finger sucking prevention devices online.

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We looked at the following aspects of thumb-sucking to determine if it is problematic and if it needs to be corrected:

Aspects of thumb-sucking in kids:

1. AGE

How old is your son? Most children stop sucking their thumb around the age of 3 or 4. Most children will stop when they go to preschool and kindergarten and be aware of the social consequences.


How often does your child sucking his thumb? Is his mother was always in his mouth? Or she just did it in the afternoon and sleep? The more often she did it, the more likely he is to perform his bite damage.


How long your child suck your thumb? If he only did it for 5-10 minutes to fall asleep, it's unlikely that he did a lot of damage in a small window of time.


How intense is your child sucking his thumb? Whether it is sitting loosely in his mouth, or he is actively and intensively suck? Intensive thumb-sucking will cause more damage than doing it lose.