Dentist For Kids Staten Island - Small World Dental
peace. love. smile.

Habit Appliance Therapy


Thumb sucking and tongue thrusting are a very common childhood activity.


In the United States, about 30% of children suck their thumb at age 1. Most children spontaneously give up the habit between age 2 and age 4.


While thumb sucking is more prevalent during sleep in early infancy, by age 1 it is more often a daytime habit, and can occur when the child is bored, tired or anxious.


If thumb sucking persists past age 5, it can cause permanent damage to the teeth, including overbites, cross-bites and dental crowding.


If your child has habits such as finger/thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, schedule an appointment at Small World Dental to explore a proper treatment.


Considering Treatment


  • Pacifiers can cause similar damage and should not be used as substitute

  • Pay attention to triggers of thumb sucking such as anxiety or boredom and provide alternative comfort either in the form of parental attention or soothing technique such as squeezing an object

  • Positive reinforcement when the child is not sucking the thumb

  • Dental appliances can be installed inside the mouth that remind the child not to suck the thumb

Related services

We would love to meet you. Come see us!