Posts for: January, 2012
There is no evidence that sucking habits can be prevented; however, there are suggested ways to discontinue these habits. Sucking is normal for babies and young children, therefore early intervention is usually not recommended. Most children stop sucking habits on their own around 4-5 years of age. Usually there is no reason to worry until permanent front teeth are ready to come in.
When the permanent teeth start to erupt, at age five or six, Dr. Doyle and the parents work together to develop a reward system to help children quit. If this approach does not work, a mouth appliance may be recommended that deters the thumb or finger from being inserted in the mouth to discourage sucking habits.