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Get Rid Of Your Childs Thumb Sucking Habit

First and foremost, remember that most children use sucking their thumb as a way to self-soothe and if possible, the coping mechanisms itself is what needs to be exchanged for something else. If the child has reached an age where they can comprehend why it has become a problem, simply explain to the child why it's a problem and try to reason with them.

Make them aware that it could make their teeth crooked and use that to help them realize it can have a negative effect. The ADA (American Dental Association) says that, generally, children who are just resting their fingers in their mouths out of habit will easily be broken of it, whereas children who are aggressively sucking may have a harder time with the idea to change. You can get rid of your child’s thumb-sucking habit by buying tguard thumb via

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If your child is persistent, here are a couple of hints and tricks to try. Be sure to do this every time before their normal habit time of sucking their thumb, like before nap and bedtime.

  • Place a bandage over their thumb
  • Put thumb in vinegar or other bad-tasting substance
  • If your child sucks their thumb when they are anxious, try to replace a coping mechanism to help soothe the anxiety another way
  • Let the child help you choose the method to help them stop (If old enough)
  • Have you dentist/hygienist help explain why they should stop

Finally, be sure to always use positive reinforcement. When your child isn't sucking their thumb, tell them what a great job they are doing, and make sure they are rewarded!

How to Address the Habit of Thumb Sucking

Orthodontists and pediatric dentists are often the best resources for children who are sucking their thumb/finger because they have experience with young patients, knowledge regarding the effects of a digit habit on the teeth/mouth, and they can provide a different voice for the child to hear.

In our office, our first effort is always directed toward at-home methods for stopping thumb/finger sucking in order to reduce and/or eliminate the need for orthodontic appliances. You can also search online if you want your child to stop thumb sucking.

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We always like to start with a positive approach of brainstorming together with the child and the parent(s) to get a feel for the child’s willingness to decrease/stop, we talk about ideas on how to stop and elucidate which technique might work best for them.

The thumb sucking habit, as how some experts believe, might start even during pre-birth. That is, when babies are still in the womb and completing the age of gestation. However, this is not yet certain. What is certain though is that this sucking reflex is firstly associated with the means on how children eat, either through breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

Note: We do not advise trying to stop a sucking habit during times of transition such as starting a new school year, changes in family structure/family schedule since it is thought that the endorphins released from the suction may have a soothing effect. If the habit was significant, the first night or two without the thumb/finger can be difficult, especially if sucking a thumb/finger was part of going to sleep.