Does your child suck his or her thumb? A recent study in the European Journal of Orthodontics showed that about one third of four year old children suck their thumb. By the time these kids are six years old, half of them will quit. Why are orthodontists so concerned about thumb sucking habits? Thumb sucking often results in an anterior open bite and a posterior crossbite. An anterior open bite means that the upper and lower front teeth do not touch each other. A posterior crossbite means that the upper jaw is too narrow for the lower jaw resulting in the upper teeth not fitting properly with the lower teeth.
The good news is that by discontinuing the thumb sucking habit, the anterior open bite will frequently correct itself. The bad news is that the posterior crossbite will not self correct and will inevitably require orthodontic treatment.
There are many ways to help your child stop sucking their thumb including a few early orthodontic appliances that can help. If you have questions about thumb sucking or its effects on your child’s bite, call the Phoenix orthodontist or Litchfield Park orthodontist to schedule a free consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation