Health Tip: Kids Need to Stop Sucking Their Thumbs

(HealthDay News) -- Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex that allows many children to feel less anxious and more secure.

But the habit can wreak havoc with a child's oral health if it goes on too long, the American Dental Association says. Most kids stop thumb-sucking by the time their permanent teeth are ready to come in.

If a child continues to suck the thumb after the permanent teeth appear, the ADA warns it could lead to problems affecting:

  • Proper growth of the mouth.

  • Alignment of the permanent teeth.

  • The roof of the mouth.

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