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Thumb sucking is very common for young children

Thumb sucking is one way a young child comforts herself. If you suddenly stop your child from sucking her thumb or fingers, she may have trouble calming herself. Thumb sucking usually disappears on its own, especially if the child is not pressured to give it up.

Sometimes parents pull thumbs and fingers out of their young children’s mouths because they are worried about dental problems. There is little chance of a problem until the child’s permanent teeth erupt at 5 or 6 years of age. Even then, there may be no ill effects from thumb sucking every once in awhile.

If you are worried about your child’s thumb sucking, keep track of how often she sucks and for how long. Take these notes for several days. This record will help you and your doctor or dentist discuss this and decide what to do.


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