It is always cute to see an infant innocently sucking on their thumb. However, if the habit continues past ages 2-3 years old it can have some serious implications. Thumb sucking can cause gaps between teeth and also changes to your child’s jaw development. This can result in an open or misaligned bite. Your orthodontist can give your child an appliance to help stop the bad habit. However, it is usually best to start early with at-home remedies. We suggest using Mavala Stop, which has the appearance of clear nail enamel, but with a bitter taste. When your child places their thumb in their mouth, they will taste the bitter polish and it will help to stop the habit. This product is recommended for ages 3 and over.


Another method to help stop thumb sucking is the sock-on-hand technique. This involves placing clean socks over your child’s hands and using safety pins to attach them to their pajama sleeves. Other methods include constant reminders and getting interactive! For example, there is a book called The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit, by Stan and Jan Berenstain. This will help you talk to your child about the importance of keeping their hands out of their mouth. Let’s work together to prevent orthodontic problems from developing!


For more information on thumb sucking and orthodontic treatment, contact Windermere Orthodontics in Suwanee, Brookhaven or Cumming today!

-Dr. Michael Gorlovsky