Digit sucking: etiology, clinical implications, and treatment options

It is important for the dental care provider to be able to identify clinical signs of sucking habits, determine if and when treatment is necessary, and provide the patient and/or guardian with treatment options, referrals, and other resources. This course will provide the dental care provider with the confidence and knowledge to adequately manage these patients.

3 CE Credits

A peer-reviewed course by Alyssa Stiles, BS, RDH, LMT, COM

Abstract

Nonnutritive sucking is a normal reflex in infants up to six months of age. While most children grow out of this habit, many children do not. There are several different theories as to why a child may continue the habit. Clinical implications include the development or relapse of malocclusions and bony structural changes, speech and articulation issues, chewing and swallowing problems, airway and breathing difficulty, and more. The severity of this habit and the corresponding signs are dependent on factors including frequency, intensity, duration, and the number and position of digits involved. There are several treatment options available, which will be discussed in this course. It is important for the dental care provider to be able to identify clinical signs of sucking habits, determine if and when treatment is necessary, and provide the patient and/or guardian with treatment options, referrals, and other resources. This course will provide the dental care provider with the confidence and knowledge to adequately manage these patients.

Educational objectives

  • Recognize the signs of digit sucking habits and be able to explain the potential ramifications of these habits
  • Identify possible causes of sucking habits
  • Determine when to seek treatment for digit sucking habits
  • Provide treatment options, referrals, and other resources for patients with digit sucking habits

Alyssa Stiles, BS, RDH, LMT, COM, is a registered dental hygienist with experience in both general and pediatric dental offices. She is a former instructor in the University of Pittsburgh Dental Hygiene Department. Alyssa is a certified orofacial myologist and owner of Pittsburgh Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy, LLC, where she helps children overcome oral habits.

Image credit: © Santos06 | Dreamstime.com

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 4 Lessons
  • 1 Quiz
  • Course Certificate
  • 3 CE credit(s)

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at lwinfield@endeavorb2b.com.

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-20010. Expires January 2024. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”

    PACE

    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2019 to 10/31/2022.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 430

    AADH

    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2021-December 31, 2022). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit.

    ADA CERP

    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at ada.org/goto/cerp.

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