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All You Need To Know About Child’s Thumb Sucking Habits

May 18, 2022

Thumb sucking is a common problem kids, and their parents have with their teeth. Even though it’s normal for babies and toddlers to do this, it can be a problem if it continues through preschool and beyond. There are ways to quit, which is good for your teeth and your health in general. If your child is having trouble with sucking his or her thumb, go to TRU Dentistry Austin in Texas.

The risks of sucking your thumb for a long time

Even though babies and toddlers thumb sucking habits may seem harmless and even cute, the habit can lead to serious problems down the road, such as:

  • More illnesses because of more germs.
  • Problems with how speech grows
  • Misaligned teeth, abnormal growth of the jaw or palate
  • Bullying, ridicule, or shame can lower a person’s self-esteem.

Finger and thumb sucking should stop completely by age four to avoid these problems and the need for expensive or painful dental work.

How to break a bad habit

Long-term thumb sucking can be harmful, so parents should talk to a pediatric dentist about this habit and do what they tell them to stop it. These tips can help make the job easier.

Positive reinforcement is the way to go.

It is never helpful to shame or criticize a child for doing something they shouldn’t, like sucking their thumb. This can make them do it even more. Instead, give your child lots of praise and positive feedback when they can stop or limit thumb sucking on their own. Some kids do better with an extra incentive, like a chart with stickers or a reward system.

Talk to kids about the bad things that could happen.

Most young kids don’t understand why they should stop sucking their thumbs. When the bad effects are explained clearly and kindly, many kids this age can understand them. A heartfelt talk about germs, dental health for kids, and social situations can help kids decide to stop the habit.

Offer different ways to get comfortable.

When a child feels overwhelmed by the need to thumb-suck, show them you care and are there for them. But resist the urge to give in. Instead, give them healthy options to help ease their anxiety and pain. Have the child hold their favorite stuffed animal, listen to soothing music, read a book, or sit close and cuddle.

Try to find things for the child to do

Kids busy and doing things with their hands have less time to chew their thumbs. If a child is busy most of the day with things like board games, crafts, sensory play, playing outside, and even games on a mobile device, it can make them less likely to want to suck.

Try nail polish or a guard

If nothing else works, you could try a thumb guard or bitter nail polish to stop your child from sucking their thumb. With these methods, the child will have a hard time or won’t be able to do this behavior. Parents should be ready for some resistance, anger, and tears along the way. But this method can be helpful, especially at night when it is hard to keep an eye on a child’s every move.
Visit TRU Dentistry in Austin,TX for reversal of thumb sucking habits in your child.

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