You may be concerned about your child’s thumb-sucking and wonder if it is harmful, at what age your child should stop, or what could happen if your child doesn’t stop. First off, thumb-sucking is a natural reflex for children. It serves many purposes; it makes babies feel secure and happy and helps them to learn about their world. So many children suck their thumbs at night because it is relaxing and helps them fall asleep. Children should have ceased sucking their thumb by the time the permanent teeth are ready to come in. Children usually stop between the ages of two and four. After the permanent teeth come in, thumb-sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. Some aggressive thumb suckers may cause problems with their baby teeth. If you notice changes in your child’s teeth, consult your dentist.
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