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What Sucking Habits can do

Sucking is normal for babies and is a natural way for them to self-soothe. Pacifier use up to around 1 year of age and limited to sleeping times does not typically have a lasting effect. 

However, constant sucking throughout the day or above the age of two can affect the position of the tongue, lips, teeth, and jaw. 


Click on the VIDEO to show how extended pacifier use can alter the shape of the mouth and disrupt eruption of the teeth:






If these habits continue, over time it can lead to open bite or other malocclusion.


What Sucking Habits Can Do to Breathing?

They can cause open mouth breathing which can increase chance of airway infections, ear infections, and colds. 

The nose has tiny hairs which filter the air we breathe and when we mouth breathe,  unfiltered air is routed directly to our lungs.

Because the jaw is held in an open fixture, mouth breathing can also SIGNIFICANTLY alter normal facial growth by weakening the lips, jaw, and tongue muscles!


What Else Can Sucking Habits Can Do?


They can also affect speech development.

When a thumb, finger, or pacifier is in the mouth it changes the natural way the tongue, jaw, and lips rest. 

Because of this pattern, the tongue learns to rest in the wrong place and that may affect how the speech sounds are produced. 

This can lead to articulation disorders, voice disorders, mumbling speech, and lisping.

Asking for Pacifier
Baby's Hand
Newborn Baby

We can provide help for your child's sucking habits using methods from Unplugging the Thumb

created by Sandra R. Holtzman, MS, CCC/SLP, COM.

Please know we are not saying pacifiers and thumbs are necessarily bad and we are in no way shaming mothers who are using these. We all need a break and they are great ways to soothe our children!

Sucking while babies is natural and great for naps and soothing situations, but it becomes a problem when the child is walking around all day sucking. Children go into a trance-like state and are more concerned with their sucking habit which in turn results in them communicating less with others and their surroundings. We want to cut these habits out as soon as possible so the children can interact and communicate more rather than occupy their attention with sucking.

For more information on how we can help with eliminating sucking habits, call us at 336.350.9263

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