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The Metamorphosis solution to thumb sucking

The Thumb Sucking Clinic

Metamorphosis orthodontics is pleased to announce the launch of London’s first ever ‘Thumb Sucking Clinic’ which has been set up to provide specialist treatment to tackle the effects of thumb sucking for children over the age of 6 when permanent teeth start to come through.

Thumb sucking can have the following effects on the mouth and teeth:

  • Upper front teeth stick out
  • Lower front teeth move inward
  • Open bite where the upper and lower front teeth do not meet
  • Narrowing of the structure of the upper jaw which leads to the development of a cross-bite (where the teeth do not meet but cross in front or behind one another)

Sucking the thumb is considered normal behaviour for babies and may even start in the womb. However, according to The American Dental Association, if it continues beyond the age of 3 or 4, it can have a negative effect on developing teeth and jaw. In fact, prolonged thumb sucking can lead to serious dental and speech problems. Research shows that greater than 60% of 10 year old thumb suckers have serious misalignment of their teeth.

Persistent thumb sucking can lead to speech problems such as lisping and imprecise pronunciation. Once the habit has been stopped natural improvement of the teeth can occur.

At Metamorphosis we believe prevention is better than cure. Our Thumb Sucking Clinic is designed to offer advice and help parents and children wishing to break the habit in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Breaking the habit early can prevent a child from having a lengthy course of orthodontic treatment later on which may or may not involve extraction of teeth.

Our solution

The Metamorphosis solution to thumb sucking initially involves discussion about the habit with the child and parent. The orthodontist may prescribe the use of a thumb (or finger) guard which is designed to prevent or interrupt thumb sucking. This is worn for a period of about a month and has a very good success rate.

Another option is a simple device called a ‘Dental Crib’. This is fitted by the orthodontist on the child’s upper teeth and usually stops the habit on the first day of use.


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