Thumbsucking is considered normal in young children and often is connected to some other attachment, like fondness for a favourite blanket or toy.
Many parents worry about a child's prolonged thumbsucking. It may help to know that children do eventually grow out of the habit, most by the time they turn 5.
It isn't necessary to involve a health professional to stop thumbsucking, unless:
- The child is 7 years of age or older;
- The thumbsucking begins to cause dental problems, like front teeth that stick out abnormally;
- Thumb problems such as infections occur;
- The thumbsucking seems to be related to an emotional problem;
- The child's relationships with friends or family begin to suffer because of the thumbsucking; or
- Thumbsucking interferes with normal speech.