All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information

Search Health Information   

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is one of the most common habits of children. The habit starts early in life, with 90 percent of newborns showing some form of hand sucking by 2 hours of age.

Thumb sucking is normal in infants and young children and should cause no permanent problems if it is not continued past the age of 5. Likewise, it is generally harmless for infants to use pacifiers.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states that most children stop thumb sucking on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. The Academy states there is no reason to be concerned until the front teeth start erupting. At this point, some problems may occur, including bite problems, or protruding front teeth. Other problems that may occur with thumb sucking are sore thumbs, infections, and calluses on the thumb.

It is thought that pacifier use may actually be better than thumb sucking for the following reasons:

Consult your child's physician if you are concerned with your child's thumb sucking. Generally, it is not a problem for children under the age of 5.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Growth & Development


Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved