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.

"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 September 2, 2014 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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