Kicking The Habit: Thumb Sucking

For some fussy children there’s nothing quite as comforting as their own thumb. Parents spend a lot of time worrying about how thumb sucking will affect them later on and when it becomes necessary for them to break them of it. In reality thumb sucking is relatively harmless. Children usually drop the habit by age 4, and it only becomes an issue when the child’s permanent teeth begin to come in. If you’re dealing with a child who’s held on to the habit a little longer than is safe, try the following tips to help them stop

Tips For Putting Down The Thumbthumb-sucking-breaking-habit-greenspoint

  • Learn to recognize what sort of things preface your child’s thumb sucking. Is it because they’re tire? Scared? Hungry? Remember that the habit serves to bring your child comfort. If they can get that comfort from another source, they’ll be less likely to suck their thumb. Give them a hug, food or a special toy when you spot signs that they might be feeling discontented.

  • Offer your child praise when they aren’t thumb sucking, especially in a situation in which they would normally result to the habit.

  • Present thumb sucking to your child in a way that encourages their quitting. For instance, you can try telling them that thumb sucking is fine, but it’s something younger children do. Big boys and girls don’t suck their thumbs. This will motivate them without insulting them.

  • Try to avoid traumatizing extremes. Don’t criticize your child’s habit (sometimes it’s not something they’re even fully aware of). Don’t use bitter-tasting substances on them. Instead use more gentle methods to lure them out of the habit.

Call Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental today and schedule an appointment!