Many dentists warn their young patients that prolonged thumb sucking can lead to dental problems. However, average kids are not the only ones who have struggled with this habit.
In a recent article published by Elle magazine, actress Emma Stone, who was a Golden Globe nominee for her role in Easy A, said that she sucked her thumb until she was 11 years old. She told the publication that the habit resulted in years of orthodontic treatment, which included a palate expander and braces.
"I never felt, like, dorky. I was just like, 'Yup, these are my braces. I've had them forever,'" said Stone, quoted by the news provider.
The American Dental Association explains that thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children that typically helps soothe them.
While the habit has been known to have a negative effect of the alignment of front teeth, the intensity of thumb sucking may have more to do with related oral problems than the act itself, the organization says.
For example, children who aggressively suck their thumbs may undergo changes in the roof of their mouth that those who simply rest their thumb in their mouth do not experience. Parents can ask their pediatric dentist how this habit may affect their child's oral health.
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