Final Thoughts: There is little doubt that digit-sucking can be a significant etiological factor in atypical dental growth and development, oral-facial muscle dysfunction and speech dysfunction.
Treatment to eliminate the sucking behavior is often neglected because of perpetuation of the time-worn and unsubstantiated Freudian theory of substitution behavior.
The technique of positive behavior modification to terminate the digit-sucking behavior has been practiced successfully by hundreds of therapists for many years.
It's time to educate the world about this wellkept secret. Documentation of improved dental, speech, and emotional growth and development is germane.
The human mouth is the ultimate source of communication. Attractive, healthy dentition is essential to communication and the well-being of the whole person. Dental malocclusion is a pathology; it does not make sense to allow a pathology to develop to its full potential before initiating treatment. Little mouths deserve a big chance to grow straight.
VanNorman, R. A. (1985). Digit sucking: It's time for an attitude adjustment - or - A rationale for the early elimination of digit-sucking habits through positive behavior modification, International Journal of Orofacial Myology, 11 (2), 14-21.