Thumb Sucking Could lead to Protruding Teeth and Speech Difficulty

adorable baby,  sucking thumb 

Sucking their thumb is something most is not all child do and stop at a certain age. I had wondered why children love sucking their almost as much as they loved momma's breast milk, but that is not the case as A consultant paediatrician has stated that babies who suck their thumbs risk speech impairment and having protruding teeth in the future.

The paediatrician Dr. Arinola Aduloju, from White Water Hospital Lagos said that although sucking their thumb is a natural reflex, a common habit which makes them feel secure, it can lead to protruding of the front teeth (which I see in some people today). 

He added that the habit will make them have difficulty in speech as they could find it uneasy pronouncing words that come out of their mouth. 

A consultant paediatrician, White Waters Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Arinola Aduloju, on Wednesday said babies who suck their thumbs were likely to have speech impairment and dental malocclusion in the future.

Aduloju said although babies usually have natural sucking reflexes, it could cause them to put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths even before birth.

He said, “Thumb sucking is a common habit in children, it makes babies feel secure while some might eventually develop a habit of thumb sucking when they’re in need of soothing or going to sleep.

However he cautioned mothers that they should not spank, scold or criticize the child as that may not solve the problem. The child may be sucking his thumbs due to anger, hunger, stress or and, frustration. Instead promises him special things if he or she stops thumb sucking as children are easily dissuaded by such things.

“For some older ones, thumb sucking is an incredibly difficult habit to break but always try and tell them the health implication.’’

According to him, sometimes peer pressure may also help them stop.

However, Aduloju advised parents not to worry and should never put too much pressure on their children to stop thumb sucking, saying such attempt might only delay the process. But they should also  be watchful as thumb sucking also leads to the child swallowing some germs as he or she puts the thumb in the mouth without washing. 

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