The Hidden Costs of Thumb Sucking

The Hidden Costs of Thumb Sucking

Many children end up naturally sucking their thumb on their own. In fact, approximately 95% of babies will suck their thumb on reflex. However, after the age of two, a child sucks their thumb more out of habit rather than reflex. An estimated 10% of children will continue to suck their thumb after the ages of two or three. Approximately 5% of children will continue to suck their thumb after the ages of four or five. Over 75% of children’s cases of overbites and underbites have benefited from early intervention. With an overbight and crooked teeth, braces may be a necessity for the child. Orthodontal care costs thousands of dollars and may or may not be covered by the families insurance plan. The only way to prevent overbites causes by thumb sucking is to stop sucking your fingers and implementing a thumb sucking appliance. Thumbsucking has also been known to cause speech impairments. Approximately 5% of children will exhibit a speech disorder by first grade. These speech impairments may require speech intervention and speech therapy, which may or may not require out of pocket costs.

Why Should You Discourage Thumb Sucking?

In addition to the thousands of dollars braces and speech therapy could cost, the average person carries 3,200 bacteria on their hands. This bacteria can make a person sick without them realizing it, since thumb sucking generally becomes a habit. In addition, approximately 80% of people who have had their teeth straightened report having higher confidence as teeth are the second biggest insecurity for Americans after weight. Higher confidence in appearance correlates with a better sense of confidence in life.

How To Stop Thumb Sucking

While stopping a child from sucking their thumb may not be an easy feat, it is doable. Anti-thumb sucking deterrents are beneficial for younger children. Age four is considered the best time to discourage your child from thumb sucking, according to the American Dental Association. Why not try a thumb and finger sucking guard for your toddler? A plastic thumb guard can deter thumbsuckers and prevent finger sucking. Thumbsucking appliances such as TGuards have proven to be 90% effective in breaking thumbsucking habits in children. A plastic thumb guard essentially fits over the child’s finger and discourages the act altogether. While early intervention and prevention can prove to be beneficial over a plastic thumb guard, they are the best bet to stopping a toddler from sucking their thumb.

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