Thumb Sucking, consequences and unlearning

Health makeyomommavexed August 7, 2016 0 4
Thumb sucking often develops in the womb, sometimes as early as 15 weeks after conception. An echo can clearly see how the fetus on the thumb or finger sucking. This is to practice sucking after birth. Sucking is of vital importance: it provides nourishment. Thumb sucking is the first four months, a reflex. Then we speak of conscious thumb sucking. When the baby needs to suck and when not meet this requirement, thumb sucking provides comfort, security and safety. The consequences are often an abnormal position of the teeth. Adults can still thumb sucking too. It is sometimes difficult to unlearn this.

What is thumb sucking?

Thumb sucking is the sucking or sucking on the thumb. Some children also suck on one of the other fingers. Often it is the middle and ring fingers together or to the index and middle fingers together. Thumb sucking comes with almost all babies before and disappears before the child is four years old. Some children stay here longer continue. There are even adults who thumb sucking.

Genesis: in the womb

All fetuses suck their thumbs or fingers when they are in the womb. From 15 weeks after conception can already arise thumb sucking. An echo is often seen that the fetus has the thumb or a finger in the mouth. Thumb sucking is an exercise in true sucking on the nipple after birth. Breastfeeding is of vital importance: it provides the necessary nutrients that the baby can survive and grow.

After the birth

Immediately the baby will suck after birth when something is put into his or her mouth. Sucking is therefore seen as a reflex. When baby immediately after birth on the thumb sucking is often by chance: the finger or thumb has touched the mouth and the result is sucking. This reflex largely disappears when the child is 4 months old. Then we can speak of conscious thumb sucking.

Why thumb sucking?

Initially thumb sucking reflex. Later thumb sucking provides comfort, safety and security. When baby sucks the breath becomes calmer and slows the heart rate. Children comfort themselves, as it were through thumb sucking. Thumb sucking is not seen often in cultures like those in Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, India and Ecuador. This gets the child to need nursing. Children from these cultures are so frequently breastfed, there is no additional need for more sucking or chewing on the thumb. In our countries, the baby is often fed on time. We begin soon to reduce the nighttime feedings and try the intermediate times during the day more and more stretch. As we work towards a feeding schedule of three to four times per day, as we are used to. Children who are fed in this way will be more and more thumb sucking: the deliberate thumb sucking.


A normal standing need for thumb sucking often has no adverse effects. Often these children what to suck your thumb or finger. The child will learn to unlearn this quickly. When the child sucks thumb firmly to the upper jaw become distorted. The position of the teeth may take an undesirable shape. These children often face long-term thumb sucking and unlearning is difficult. The further consequences may include: a high palate, open bite or outstanding front teeth. The tongue tip is weaker so the child learns to talk difficult. Also, children who thumb sucking often mouth breathing, so that the nose is not treated properly. Bacteria more easily remain behind in the slime with an ear infection as a result.


Children can from two years old to the dentist. The dentist can assess thumb sucking has adversely affected the position of the teeth. When this is the case, the thumb-sucking will have to be cut off as soon as possible. You should discuss with the dentist when thumb sucking should really be stopped. Often starting recommend this consideration before the permanent teeth start to come through.

Use or not Fopspeentje?

A child using the pacifier is easier to make these fa. The pacifier can be simply taken away or it can be phased out. Children who are used to thumb sucking can be a lot harder since. The thumb or the finger, after all, is always present.


Unlearning thumb sucking should in any case before the passage of the permanent teeth. This is at an age of 5 to 6 years. Most children learn to thumb sucking itself off around the age of four, that is not the case, then needed help. A patch for the deliberate finger or thumb stick often prevents thumb sucking. Also, there may be a glove to be worn, especially in the night. During the day, the child can be reminded. Better is to reward the child with the non-thumb sucking and thumb sucking itself not to punish. Any underlying fears and uncertainties should be eliminated. Thumb sucking at an older age often has a different cause. In adults, this often mental disorders. Therapy can help.