Over the last 10 years there has been a surge of pediatric dentist specialists opening offices, and as a results more attention to child oral development. Before then, the rule of thumb (pun intended) was that a child should stop at the time their adult teeth start to appear, about age six. Now though, what pediatricians say about thumbsucking is that it should be stopped as early as age three, because of the risk of bad palette development and speech problems that can result, and it is bad for the child’s self confidence. Even a regular dentist will urge stopping the habit no later than six because the follow on cost of braces can be high, and also have a negative impact on their self image during crucial years. On the other hand, baby thumb sucking is normal. In fact over 75% of infant thumb sucking is normal, but weening off soon is best. The agreement is among professionals is – the sooner the better.