12131 Magnolia Blvd | Valley Village, CA 91607 | ( 818 ) 763 8999

Ask Drs. Grosleib: When is thumb-sucking cause for concern?


Lots of you have asked our Dr. Michelle Grosleib, Dr. James Grosleib and our dental team at Valley Village Dental about whether it’s healthy for children to suck thumbs (or, less frequently, fingers). If you’ve got a thumb-sucker in the house, you are not alone. Research tells us that between 75% and 95% of infants suck their thumbs.

So, is this anything to worry about?

In most cases, no. Sucking is a natural reflex for an infant, and can provide security and contentment as well as relaxation for your little one. It’s a habit that most children grow out of between the ages of 2 and 4.

However, if your child keeps sucking after he’s gotten his permanent teeth, it’s time for Drs. Grosleib and team to take a closer look. If your child sucks his thumb aggressively, putting pressure on the inside of the mouth or your child’s teeth, it could cause problems with tooth alignment and proper mouth growth. If you’re worried, give us a call at our dental office and Drs. Grosleib will help assess the situation, and provide tips for how to help your child break the habit.

We proudly serve patients from Valley Village, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood and Studio City, among other surrounding communities here in Los Angeles.

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