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J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2019 Jan-Mar;37(1):18-24. doi: 10.4103/JISPPD.JISPPD_136_18.

Knowledge and attitude of pediatricians toward digit sucking habit in children.

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Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Navodaya Dental College and Hospital, Raichur, Karnataka, India.
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Sri Hasanamba Dental College and Hospital, Hassan, Karnataka, India.
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Geetanjali Dental College and Research Institute, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.



Finger sucking and prolonged dummy sucking are the most prevalent oral habits among infants, toddlers, and children. Pediatricians are more likely to see infants and children much earlier than dentists. Thus, it is essential for these specialists to be aware of the harmful nature of digit sucking habit and its associated complications.

Aims and Objectives:

The present study was designed to evaluate the knowledge and attitude among pediatricians about digit sucking habit in children.


The survey was carried out using a self-administered questionnaire which was delivered to the study subjects by hand or by mail. The returned questionnaires from the pediatricians were statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics (percentage).


This study showed that many respondents were unaware that oral habits could be responsible for malocclusion. A high percentage of respondents preferred not to examine oral features in digit sucking child. Among the etiological factor that may contribute to digit sucking habit in a child, most of the respondents expressed that habitual, psychological and inadequate parental care are possible causes. Most of the participants answered that parental and child counseling is essential to stop the habit. Most of the respondents did not refer the digit sucking child to the dentist for the better management of associated malocclusion.


Knowledge and attitude among pediatricians about digit sucking habit in children were found to be unsatisfactory. Continuing dental education programs and symposiums can be conducted for pediatricians to enhance their knowledge about pernicious oral habits.


Attitude; digit sucking; knowledge; oral habits

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