Lip Sucking in Children - Causes, Effects, and How to Stop It - PVPD

How to Break Lip-Sucking Habits in Kids?

Kids being innocent, get into bad habits such as nail biting, lip sucking, and tongue tying. Suck bad habits have potential effects on teeth alignment, bite issues, and gum development.

Parents are primarily responsible for breaking such habits in kids to recover their oral health. Additionally, pediatric physicians and dentists can perform their significant role in teaching kids about such practices with comprehensive instructions.

If you notice that your kid is also addicted to lip-sucking, you must bring the kid to your local pediatric dentist for their teeth evaluation.

Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics AZ offers impressive services, especially for kids and special needs patients, to protect their bright smiles.

Read: How to Fix Overbite from Thumbsucking | Ultimate Solution

What is Lip Sucking?

It falls under myofunctional disorder, which can occur due to dry or chapped lips. Kids start sucking their lower lip due to the coping mechanism under unfamiliar situations and get into this habit.

Moreover, it occurs in kids who experience misalignment or incorrect relation between their teeth and jaws or bite-size issues.

Lip sucking is a thing that most parents don’t recognize at the start but get to know after some time.

Although this pattern is quite challenging to break, it is possible with the proper guidelines of the dentist and the right support of parents.

So, if you notice your kid has dry lips, make sure that they don’t start sucking them and keep an eye for the time being.

Read: Overbite vs Normal Bite: Differences, Causes, and Treatment

What Causes Lip Sucking?

Now comes the primary concern: what causes the lip-sucking habit in kids? In some cases, it is due to the unnecessary stress and anxiety in unfamiliar situations when the body is looking for some coping mechanisms.

In other cases, it can be due to the other kids in the environment. Likewise, here are some other causes that can cause this habit in kids:

Dry Lips:

Sometimes, when kids start feeling dry due to environmental changes or dehydration, they unconsciously try to moisten their lips.

In this scenario, they unconsciously start sucking their lips and moisten them from time to time, which then gets strong and becomes unhealthy for their oral health.

Stress & anxiety:

Another reason that the kids start lip-sucking is when they feel anxious about some situation or find themselves troublesome in an unfamiliar environment.

Severe malocclusion:

Misalignment or overbite can cause lip sucking in kids as the upper teeth protrude over the lower lips and create an ideal condition.

Likewise, kids also adopt bad habits from their school or neighborhood friends.

So, parents must always be conscious about their kids to keep them safe and healthy.

Effects of Lip Sucking on Oral Health:

It’s a habit that can affect the oral health of kids. Constant exposure of lip tissues to saliva can cause redness, irritation, and bacterial infection on the lips. Moreover, here we share some risks and problems that can result due to long-term lip sucking:

1) Worsening of malocclusion

Habitual sucking can result in an inclination of the upper lips forward and the lower set of teeth backward, which is not a good condition for oral health.

2) Poor muscle balance

Lip sucking can cause crowding of teeth, which may result in the weakening of the lip muscles and incisors. It can lead to a kid’s teeth in no time. Moreover, the kids may need help in eating and chewing the food.

3) Reddening

Lips can quickly become red due to excessive tension on the skin. In addition, it can lead to bleeding if severe sucking happens for any reason.

4) Weakening of muscles around the lips

This bad habit can lead to the weakening of muscles around the lips. Muscle weakening can damage the movement of the facial structure during talking, eating, and speaking.

Tips to stop a child from biting lower lip

Helping the kids to get rid of their lip-sucking habits is possible with patience and persistence. It mostly disappears in kids after some significant counseling from the physician. But, note the fact that it takes time in some cases. So, if you want to break this habit, follow these following simple tips and tricks:

  1. Don’t push your kid to break this habit. Be polite and be kind to them. Offer them a lip balm to soften their lips and let their tissues heal fully.
  2. Try to divert his tension during any unfamiliar or stressful situation.
  3. If your kids face frustration in leaving this habit, comfort them with kind words and set a reward for little milestones.
  4. Offer them water regularly so that their body recovers from the dehydration and they resist lip-sucking.
  5. Give them sugar-free candies if they obey you, and don’t suck their lips for a day.

Pro tip:

A pro tip for parents is to use lip-biting inhibitor devices for their kids, especially toddlers. If you notice your toddler biting lower lip while sleeping, an inhibitor is the best tool that comes in handy.

Wrapping Up:

To sum up, lip-sucking and biting is a common habit in kids and toddlers, which they do as an unintentional habit or when under stress.

The key to keeping your kid from lip-sucking is prevention. Parents must monitor their children if they are involved in such habits. Taking some measures at home and consulting with a dentist can help them remove this habit soon.


Does lip sucking increase the lip size?

No, lip sucking or biting does not affect the lip size. Lips have some soft muscles that don’t grow with such practices. Only lip plump can help in their growth.

What happens if a toddler licks their lips constantly?

It can result in swelling, soreness, redness, and tenderness. In medical terms, daily sucking of lips causes oral fibroma in a particular area, which can lead to headaches and jaw pains.

Is lip biting a facial expression?

Lip sucking or biting is not a facial expression in any circumstances. However, it shows stress and uncertainty when people hold some emotions to themselves.

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