Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thumb-Sucking, Pacifier Use May Damage Children's Teeth

Date:
December 25, 2001
Source:
American Dental Association
Summary:
Many experts say children can safely suck their thumbs or pacifiers until they enter school, but a new study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests if the behavior persists after age two, children's bite may be affected.

CHICAGO -- Many experts say children can safely suck their thumbs or pacifiers until they enter school, but a new study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests if the behavior persists after age two, children's bite may be affected.

Related Articles


"Sucking is a natural reflex, which comforts infants and young children. Any recommendation to stop thumb, finger or pacifier sucking before a child is two years old would be unrealistic, potentially detrimental and unnecessary from a dental standpoint," states lead author John J. Warren, D.D.S., M.S., of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Funding for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health.

However, the study, conducted by Dr. Warren and colleagues at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and the Tokyo Dental College, reveals that children who continue to suck a thumb, finger or pacifier past age two increase their risk of developing protruding front teeth. In addition, such habits increase the risk of an improper bite with narrowing of the upper jaw relative to the lower jaw (crossbite).

Dr. Warren's group studied 372 children in Iowa who sucked a thumb, finger pacifier, or combination thereof, from birth through age four. Each year, researchers administered questionnaires to the parents about their children's sucking habits.

At the end of the fourth year, the children were assigned to one of five groups, depending on the year they stopped the habit. The fifth group was made up of children who continued to suck their thumb, finger or pacifier. Models of the children's teeth were made between the ages of four to five and certain dimensions measured. Researchers then compared the measurements from each of the five groups.

Results indicate that the prevalence of crossbite in the molar area steadily increased from 5.8 percent for children who stopped the habit by one year of age, to 13 percent among children who stopped between two and three years old, to more than 20 percent for those who continued the habit after they turned four years old.

The researchers plan to continue the study to determine if the dental condition persists after the children's baby teeth are lost. In the meantime, Dr. Warren suggests that if three- to -four year old children persist in sucking their thumb, finger or pacifier, professional assistance may be needed to correct the resulting conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Dental Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Dental Association. "Thumb-Sucking, Pacifier Use May Damage Children's Teeth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 December 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224083205.htm>.
American Dental Association. (2001, December 25). Thumb-Sucking, Pacifier Use May Damage Children's Teeth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224083205.htm
American Dental Association. "Thumb-Sucking, Pacifier Use May Damage Children's Teeth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011224083205.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

New Hormone Could Protect Against Diabetes And Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) A newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise, protecting against diabetes and weight gain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

The Best Tips to 'Skinny' Your Home

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) If you&apos;re looking to reach your health goals this season, there are a few simple tips to help you spring clean your space and improve your nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the skinny on keeping a healthy home. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins