Thumb sucking and finger sucking is observed very early on, as early as in the intrauterine life. In a new born infant, sucking is well developed and is the means of his most important single exchange with the outside world.
Although they do not recieve any nutrients from this practice, they obtain a feeling of euphoria or well being that is so essential in early life. A sense of security, a feeling of warmth of association and being wanted, all these universally needed requirements are satisfied by the infant largely through sucking. The lips of infants are sensory organs and pathway to brain is well developed. Later on,as other synanpses are more developed and other pathways become available, the child does not need to rely so strongly on this venue of communication.

In general, the causes of this habit can be due to:
1. Physiological problems – enlarged adenoids, deviated septum etc
2. Emotional problems – excessive parental demand, birth of sibling, criticism, bullying, prolonged or repeated seperation from parents etc

If thumb or digit sucking is not controlled before the age of three yrs, it can cause developmental changes such as
1. Hypotonic lip
2. Proclination and spacing of upper teeth
3. Anterior open bite
4. Increased overjet
5. Retroclined lower anterior teeth
6. Hyperactive lower lip
7. Compensatory tongue thrusting
8. Increased buccal musculature pressure leading on to the collapse of maxillary arch and high palatal vault.

Dr.Prathima Adusumilli is well versed in detecting and treating such habite in Phase 1 orthodontics and Phase 2 orthodontics. American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child at the age of 7 should be seen by an orthodontist to control and treat any such habits and their adverse affects on developing dentition.

Call Coral Orthodontics today at 954-418-2354 and avail your free orthodontics consult!