At Star Orthodontics we are not only able to provide expert advice but also specialist treatments for children with thumb sucking or finger sucking problems.

Although thumb sucking is considered normal for babies and might not create problems, if it persists beyond the age of 3 or 4, it can have a negative effect on the development of the teeth and the jaws. Depending of the duration and intensity, particularly after the age of 6 when anterior adult teeth start to erupt, thumb sucking can cause important problems in both the growth of teeth and jaws. Prolonged thumb sucking habits can also lead to speech problems.

The effect of the thumb sucking in the mouth can be:

  • pushing forward the upper anterior teeth
  • pushing backwards the lower anterior teeth
  • Prevent the upper and lower teeth meeting in the front of the mouth, a condition called open bite
  • Prevent the tongue to achieve a position between both upper and lower ach of the teeth, as a result the upper jaw gets constricted which can lead to a lateral crossbite.
  • speech problems

The above effects of a thumb sucking habit can give face asymmetries, important teeth irregularities and serious bite problems  and if this habit continues during the growth spurt can only be treated with a combination of orthodontic and surgical treatment.

thumb sucking


Our first approach in dealing with thumb sucking habits is a discussion about this habit with the child and the parents. We are always supportive in helping the child understand the effects of this habit in his mouth and offer advice and guidance to break it.

Our attitude is supportive and positive at this stage and not to force the child stop the habit. We believe children at the age of 6 are mature enough to understand the seriousness of the habit and in most cases just guidance and support are enough in order to stop it.

In the small exceptions that children cannot stop the thumb sucking voluntary, even if they try, then we can help them further by providing them with a thumb guard. This guard has a form of a special glove that prevents or interrupts thumb sucking.

In cases that the thumb sucking is combined with an established open bite then we might offer the child an orthodontic appliance called a 'Face Former' that will prevent the thumb sucking but also will assist the closure of the anterior open bite.

Please contact us to arrange a thumb sucking consultation and let us guide and assist your child stop the habit effectively.


star orthodontics
Star Orthodontics
17 Turk street
GU34 1AG

Telephone: 01420 549777

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© 2017 Copyright Star Orthodontics - Site last updated on 29/09/17