Thumb-sucking and pacifier use in children younger than 4 is not considered a problem. Children usually stop this habit between the ages of 2 and 4.
Children who suck their thumbs frequently or with great intensity after the age of 4 or 5 ARE at risk for dental or speech problems. Such problems include the improper growth of the jaws, misalignment of the teeth and shape of the dental arches. A child may also develop speech problems, including mispronouncing Ts and Ds, lisping, and tongue thrusting. A custom appliance can be fabricated to help patients stop this habit. Questions regarding oral habits are common, so please do not hesitate to ask yours!