Wives Tales that are the Real Deal #19: Thumb Sucking and Buck Teeth

My mother may have used this one on me when I was younger: If you suck your thumb, your teeth will grow in crooked. The number of babies who suck their thumbs is pretty much ALL THE BABIES, but not all of them have buck teeth, so is this wives' tale false? According to the experts, infants and toddlers who suck their thumbs should have few problems with jaw development. However, should the thumb sucking continue after the age of 4--the age when more permanent teeth grow in--there is a risk of teeth, gum, and even jaw problems developing.   [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: mychildmagazine.com.au[/caption] Excessive thumb sucking past the age of 4 can not only lead to buckteeth (the front teeth pushed forward), but it may even cause children to develop a lisp. The sucking motion can push teeth out of their normal position, interfering with the child's ability to form the sounds of speech. If your child is older than 4, it's time to wean them off the bad habit of sucking their thumb!  
Featured Image Source:health.howstuffworks.com
Resources: http://www.wtae.com/health/18403232 , http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Dental_care_thumb_sucking

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