Finger Sucking and Pacifier Use

Finger sucking is a habit that typically occurs in infants. Usually, children stop this habit by the age of four. If this behavior continues past the age when their permanent teeth start appear, they may develop crooked teeth and a malformed roof of their mouth. This occurs due to frequency, duration, intensity, and position of the finger in the child’s mouth. This habit can also affect the position of the upper and lower jaw, in addition to affecting speech.

Suggestions to break the habit:

  • Wait till the time is right (low stress).
  • Motivate your child (show examples of what could happen to their teeth and fingers/thumbs).
  • Use a reward system (small incentives will encourage your child want to stick with it).