Tips To Stop Thumb Sucking

Sucking is a natural action of babies as it makes them feel secure and happy. Sucking on thumbs, pacifiers and other objects also helps infants explore the world around them.

Young children also suck to soothe themselves. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may help induce sleep.

But sucking can interfere with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth. The intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result.

Thumb SuckingAggressive thumb sucking can cause problems with baby (primary) teeth and also result in the skin of the thumb to bleed.

Sucking on pacifiers can affect the teeth the same way as sucking on fingers and thumbs. However, it is often an easier habit to break. Sucking usually stops between the ages of two and four.

Some tips to stop thumb sucking:

  • Children often suck their thumbs when feeling insecure or needing comfort. Focus on the cause of the anxiety and provide comfort to your child.
  • For an older child, involve him or her in choosing the method of stopping.
  • Explain to your child the benefits of stopping – the skin of the thumb will heal and the teeth will grow nicely.
  • Praise him each time he sleeps without sucking his thumb.
  • Bandage the thumb or put a sock over the hand at night.
  • Your dentist or paediatrician can prescribe a bitter medication to coat the thumb.
  • Try to use natural remedies to provide comfort and reduce anxiety for your child.
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2 Responses

  1. Andrea says:

    The reason it is hard to stop thumb sucking with all the negative tools like bitter polish is because thumb sucking is such a comforting thing to a child and they will not want to give it up when you put bitter polish (which has chemicals in it) or shameful thumb guards on. Try the positive approach…there is a fun thing for children called “Thumbuddy To Love” and it comes with a thumb puppet/story book with special tips on how to use it. Teaches kids in a fun and positive way to let go of something so comforting. Worked for my kids. Here is the info: You can get it on Amazon or thumbuddytolove dot com.
    The sooner the better because prolonged thumb sucking can lead to buck teeth.

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