What are the Benefits of thumb sucking in adults


People normally observe thumb sucking in young babies and children, but it is weird for the same people to watch out the same thumb sucking in adults. It is a normal habit but you need to stop this habit when you are entering into adulthood. Because no one in your neighborhood to see you like that. Apart from this, are there any benefits of thumb sucking in adults?

Adults also do thumb sucking but they do it personally and they don’t want to expose their habit to the public. As per medical experts, it is common for adults to do thumb sucking. Around one in ten adults develop this habit of thumb sucking from their childhood. The beginning of the thumb sucking starts in the uterus, before entering into this world. Research shows that this habit can stimulate endorphins in babies and this habit is quite common in children who are suffering from anxiety. It is the same with adults also. Mothers help their babies to develop this habit when they are unavailable for breastfeeding.

Some people do this to escape from their inner emotions and it will become a normal part of their lives. Most adults do this as long as no one is watching them because they fear being judged by other people. Thumb sucking habit is normal as long as people control it. Some people unable to control it and do thumb sucking while

  • Watching television
  • Reading books
  • Driving a car or riding a bike
  • Sleeping

People who are doing thumb sucking feel completely normal about their habit and it puts them in a comfort zone and it is one of the benefits of thumb sucking. Men are far less likely to develop this habit when compared to women. The number is very high in women than in men. People make efforts to stop doing thumb sucking and they will again find themselves in this habit. Some people hide this habit from their loved ones or the members of the family.

People do this when they are nervous and it relives from anxiety. It is another benefit of thumb sucking in adults. People do it at their workplace if they are under stress and students also do this when they entering into the exam hall. People who are thumb suckers are often feeling embarrassed if someone finds them doing thumb sucking. Following are the only side effects associated with thumb sucking are

  • Social embarrassment
  • Dental problems

As per medical experts, this habit should control before the age of four, otherwise it is very difficult to stop doing this habit. Adults who are thumb-suckers experience various dental problems due to thumb-sucking habit. Research shows that people who are unable to quit thumb-sucking habits are more likely to diagnose with orthodontia. Researchers observed that the people who have this habit of thumb sucking until five years old are less likely to develop an allergic reaction to common triggers such as

  • Dust mites
  • Pet fur
  • Grass

It is the biggest benefit of thumb sucking. Over a thousand men and women have participated in this study. It is not an easy task for a person to overcome this habit. They should have strong will power to overcome this habit. It is not possible to do it in one night. People should make efforts daily to get the desired output. One should follow the below techniques to get rid of this habit. It includes

  • Chewing or having something in the mouth like candy or mints
  • Hold stress balls in your hand and squeeze it when you have an urge
  • Paint your nails
  • Keep both hands busy all the time because most of the people do thumb sucking only when they are not doing anything with their hands.

What are the possible side effects of thumb sucking?

Children suck their thumbs to calm themselves and parents must take initiative to stop this habit in their children otherwise they might end up experiencing the below possible side effects. It includes

  • Open Bite
  • Overbite
  • Skin problems
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Social issues

Let’s discuss the above side effects in detail

Open bite

Dental malocclusion is the permanent side effect often children with the habit of thumb sucking end up with. People with this problem suffer from tooth misalignment and they are unable to manage their damaged teeth. It means people with dental malocclusion are unable to hide their teeth when they close their mouths. It is a serious side effect that comes with the habit of thumb sucking. By keeping this in mind, parents must take an initiative to make their children get rid of this habit.

Open bite appears at the front teeth and in this case, you should immediately take your child to a dentist to prevent the spread of further infection to the other teeth. Your child dentist may recommend an orthodontic correction in the future days to reduce the severity of the problem.


The habit of thumb sucking of your child can lead to the cause of open bite malocclusion This misalignment can cover the bottom teeth by the top teeth. It can have a significant effect on the mental health of anyone or the children when they grow up.

Parents observe a lot of changes in their child due to this side effect of thumb sucking. It changes the shape of the child’s face and smiles. It is not easy for a physician to fix this problem and parents must take him or her to a dentist. He or she recommends an extensive orthodontic treatment to treat the problem of the child and get back his original smile.

Skin Problems

Thumb sucking can lead to the cause of several skin problems. The affected part of the thumb might be at risk and vulnerable to other injuries. Parents can place a bandage over the affected part of the thumb and make sure that your child is not doing thumb sucking again. Tell your child the various ways to protect his or her thumb.

Difficulty speaking

Thumb sucking can affect your speaking in the future days if you don’t take action on it. The problems include unable to speak certain sounds or it will be difficult for you to pronounce some words.

It is very difficult to overcome this problem as these problems occur due to the shape of your child’s teeth. Not even a dentist can fix this problem and it will become a communication barrier to your child in the future. It also affects the career as Interpersonal skills are very important to build your career. Children who experience difficulties in pronouncing words and consonant sounds show the following emotions including

  • Unable to hide their frustration
  • Getting anger for no reason
  • Feelings of isolation

Speech impediments can have a serious effect on the mental health of anyone and the adults need to stop sucking their thumbs.

Social Issues

The habit of thumb sucking might cause social issues. Children who are unable to control their habit in public may lose the respect of other people or some people may find it weird. Thumb sucking is normal for babies and toddlers, but it is not the same case with adults and older people.

It is not easy to break this habit and one must overcome this habit before the age of four. If it grows along with you then you need to face social issues. Don’t be shy to take your parents or a dentist help to stop thumb sucking.

What are the benefits of thumb sucking?

Several benefits associated with thumb sucking and this habit are completely natural for the babies. Twenty-percent of the kids still do thumb sucking up to their first birthday. If the urge to do thumb sucking is strong, then you must consult a therapist to stop this habit. Thumb sucking is quite common in babies and toddlers. Following are the benefits of thumb sucking and it includes

  • Emotional comfort
  • Boosts your immune power
  • Helps digestion
  • Teething relief
  • Sign of Independence
  • Longer periods of sleep
  • Gives parents peace

Let’s discuss the above benefits of thumb sucking in detail

Emotional comfort

One of the benefits of thumb sucking is its calming effect. It soothes a person and can also keep you calm. Thumb sucking can help your children to maintain composedness, and also regulates the children

  • Breath
  • Heartbeat

Boosts your immune power

Research shows that the children who are thumb suckers are less likely to develop allergies when compared with the children who did not adopt this habit. It happens because the immune system is habituated to fight off against germs.

Helps digestion

People who are thumb-suckers their muscles often contract which in turn pushes the food to the digestive tract system. Saliva flow increases as a result. Thumb sucking habit helps your baby or toddler to improve their gut health and also improves digestion.

Teething relief

Teeth relief is another benefit of thumb sucking in the people who develop this habit. It helps to manage their pain up to a certain degree. Thumb sucking also helps the child to distract themselves from other uncomfortable things. Incoming teeth irritate the gums and can cause

  • Itching
  • Tenderness

Children use thumb sucking to get relief from the incoming teeth and also distract from the discomfort.

Sign of Independence

Generally, children are unable to stay away from their parents and this is not the case with the children who have a habit of thumb sucking. Researchers conducted a study to prove this point by keeping mothers in one room and children in the opposite room. Children who don’t have this habit are unable to entertain themselves longer and on the other hand, children who are thumb-suckers stayed happily in the room and enjoyed. Sign of independence is one of the benefits of thumb sucking.

Longer periods of sleep

Thumb sucking can improve a child’s sleep and it is clinically proven. Research shows that children tend to sleep more who have the habit of thumb sucking than those who don’t. Even parents also want their child to sleep a little longer than he or she used to be to buy some time for themselves to do the other stuff.

Gives parents peace

Children don’t shout or won’t do any harmful things when they are doing thumb sucking. It can offer parents some peace and it is the biggest benefit to thumb sucking to the parents. Parents can live happily and get more freedom with a child who has a habit of thumb sucking. It gives parents some time to relax just a little more.


Thumb sucking is completely natural and there are many benefits associated with it. But a person needs to stop doing this habit if he or she is an adult. If thumb sucking is a big problem for you, then consult a therapist about some of the available treatment options or take your parent’s help to overcome this habit.


  1. http://www.jisppd.com/article.asp?issn=0970-4388;year=2019;volume=37;issue=1;spage=18;epage=24;aulast=Kumar
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378378219300842
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.7863/jum.2009.28.6.836


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