Spot Pal's Leading Provider


Thumb sucking is a common habit amongst infants and young children, but do we know the lasting effects on tongue posture and overall health?

According to the Mayo Clinic, infants typically suck their thumbs until approximately 6 to 7 months of age. This is around the age that the sucking reflex subsides. If children continue thumb-sucking through their toddler years, their risk and likelihood of developmental consequences throughout the growth process increases. Such risks of prolonged thumb-sucking can include:

  1. Tongue thrust – swallowing during thumbsucking perpetuates the forward motion of the tongue. This can lead to difficulties with articulation and deficient swallow patterns.
  2. Jaw misalignment- Extended thumb sucking can lead to a child’s developing jaws becoming out of correct alignment.
  3. Narrowing of the palate- Research has suggested that children whose palates do not form correctly can demonstrate difficulties with articulation and swallowing skills, secondary to improper tongue placement, as well as mouth breathing due to narrowing of the nasal passage. The roof of your mouth is the floor of the nose!
  4. Narrow dental arches- thumbsucking can cause the upper teeth to flare outward, and the lower teeth to move inward which can lead to the need for future orthodontic appliances as well as causing an unfavorable aesthetic appearance.

If you are a parent of a child who sucks their thumb and has tried to wean them off, you know how difficult it is to break this habit. The Spot Pal is an effective tongue training tool that can help reduce the habit of thumb-sucking. If you have concerns, you may consider consulting with a healthcare professional, who can help guide you towards the best treatment options.

-Briana S.