How to Get Your Child To Stop Sucking Their Thumb

For some babies and toddlers, thumb sucking makes them happy and gives them comfort throughout the day. Some kids suck their thumbs in order to soothe themselves to sleep. While thumb sucking is a safe, natural and normal thing for toddlers to do, it could cause issues with their teeth in the near future. Normally toddlers stop sucking their thumbs when they are four years old. This is the ideal time to stop because at this age they are in the process of losing all their baby teeth and their adult teeth are almost ready to come in. But unfortunately sometimes kids keep on sucking and this can have damaging effects on their overall mouth development and how their teeth will line up in the future. Depending on how much your child sucks their thumb, this will tremendous affect their mouth. 

Vigorous thumb sucking can cause a variety of dental problems such as:
-An overbite– where the front teeth overlap the bottom. 
-Unflattering changes of the shape of the jawline that can possibly affect the alignment of the teeth and cause speech pattern issues like lisps or not pronouncing F’s properly. 
-Other bite problems include, bottom teeth tipping inward to the back of the mouth or that the top and bottom don’t touch when the mouth is closed. 

Having these dental problems also may cause low self esteem or your child being constantly teased and shamed for having buck teeth. I’m pretty sure you are thinking, “how can I get my son or daughter to permanently stop sucking their thumb?” It might not be an easy habit to break, but there are several ways you can help them stop sucking their thumb. 

Talk to a dentist cairns residents trust. Before you do anything, it’s good idea to go to your dentist and talk with them about your child’s thumb sucking, they will give you suggestions or products to try out, and maybe even a possible treatment plan if your child’s teeth are already showing problems. Whatever you do, NOT shame your child. Babies and toddlers suck their thumb for comfort and to feel secure within themselves. Shaming your child will not only bring psychological damage to them but it might even make them suck their thumbs even more due to the added stress of being shamed. Instead, just calmly tell your child that thumb sucking will hurt their teeth in the long run. 

Give your child gentle and kind reminders. Instead of forcing a device on your child, try telling them not to suck their thumbs and put a brand-aid on their finger. Unfortunately, your child could just rip off the brand aid and continue on sucking their thumb but it’s a method worth trying. Put nasty tasting liquids on their thumb. This method might be the most effective method to stop thumb sucking, depending on how long the taste last on their finger this might break the habit for good. 

 

 

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