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Orthodontist In Santa Clarita Weighs In On Thumb-Sucking, What Age It Could Become Harmful

An orthodontist in Santa Clarita is weighing in on the common habit of thumb-sucking, and when she recommends parents stop this behavior in their children to prevent future teeth and jaw issues.

Dr. Megan LeCornu of Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics called thumb-sucking a “soothing mechanism” that can be a difficult habit to break. However, she recommends efforts are made to stop the behavior by the time a child’s permanent teeth come in. 

“What I like to tell our patients is, if you can tie your shoes, we should work on breaking that habit,” LeCornu said. “Once those permanent teeth start erupting, we really want to get rid of any finger habits, and the reason is because thumb-sucking actually does affect the growth of the jaws and teeth.” 

Related: Orthodontist In Santa Clarita Discusses Dangers Of At-Home Liner Kits

Prolonged thumb-sucking can actually have such an impact on the bite that a “severe intervention” such as jaw surgery may be required later in life to correct it, according to LeCornu. 

“For example, I had a patient who sucked their thumb all the way into their late 20s,” she said. “The only way to correct their bite at that time was jaw surgery.”

However, catching potential issues while the child is still growing — ideally no later than age 7 — can ensure the problems are more easily corrected, LeCornu added. 

“If there has been any growth issues, we can actually alter the growth and go back to a normal growth pattern,” she said. “So ideally we want to catch these patients when they are growing so that we can make those changes and help basically protect the growth and the development of the jaw so that they do grow normally.” 

Ed. Note: This article is a KHTS Community Spotlight based on a recent radio interview with Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics.

Dr. Steven Gilbertson, Dr. Megan LeCornu and Dr. Pete Weber of Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics — formerly Gilbertson and LeCornu Orthodontics — have a solid reputation in the community as the premiere Santa Clarita orthodontist office for children, teenagers and adults using Invisalign and traditional braces. Together, they strive to provide orthodontic excellence and five-star customer service in a friendly, caring environment that makes each patient feel like a member of their family. Residents have voted Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics as Best Orthodontist in Santa Clarita for eight years. Anyone looking for an “orthodontist near me” can contact Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics today. 

Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics

23206 Lyons Avenue, Suite 206

Santa Clarita, CA 91321

(661) 259-2388

27891 Smyth Dr. Unit A

Valencia, CA 91355


Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics – Santa Clarita, Valencia


Santa Clarita Orthodontist, Orthodontist in Santa Clarita, Embrace Your Smile Orthodontics, Dr. Steven Gilbertson, Dr. Megan LeCornu, Dr. Pete Weber, Gilbertson and LeCornu Orthodontics, Orthodontist Near Me

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Orthodontist In Santa Clarita Weighs In On Thumb-Sucking, What Age It Could Become Harmful

One comment

  1. Very interesting information. I know that many modern mothers do not pay attention to this and do not think about how this will affect their children in the future. Sucking a finger at twenty seems like some kind of deviation; an adult should understand that such behavior does not affect his jaw well. Parents should control such things from a young age. Have a nice day!

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