Ways to Help Your Child Overcome Thumb sucking

My daughter is already 5 years old and she's yet to get over her annoying habit of thumbsucking. As much as I've tried to help her get rid of the habit, she keeps on returning into it.

Thumb sucking can be a real comforting habit for our child. However, this comforting habit of our child is going to have a whole lot of repercussions for them later on including harming their teeth and jaws. Therefore, as responsible parents you do need to curb as best as possible this habit of thumb sucking.

Children go back to thumb sucking as a means to feel secure and safe in an environment. We have to be firm though since they really need to stop once the permanent teeth start appearing that is around the age of six years. If thumb sucking continues beyond this particular age then it is going to deform their teeth and then later on they might have to wear braces.

Also, the act of thumb sucking brings on a host of other problems such as the buildup of bacteria and infections. A good thing is to ensure that you deal with it in the most positive of manner. Do not punish your child for it as that will make them resentful and all the more insecure. Rather, try and wait it out and be as gentle as possible when you correct them. There are options and other comfort zones that you could offer our child such as a warm blanket, their favorite toy or be with them before they fall asleep to ensure that they don’t think of thumb sucking.

One thing that can help is being on the look-out for the triggers, the time of the day and what brings this on so that you can go on and avoid these kinds of situations for our child. Try and distract your child as soon as they try to put their thumbs in their mouth. Slowly and gently remove the thumb from the mouth and direct our child’s attention to something else. Hopefully the child will overcome thumb sucking without causing too much frustration to both mommy and child.

1 comment:

Emily said...

You are right on. My daughter sucked her thumb whenever she slept. When she turned 4 we started putting band-aids on her thumbs and she got stickers and rewards for keeping them on. She did pretty well. It took about a month before she quit sucking her thumb. But the really cool thing was about a month after that her crooked teeth straightened themselves out on their own. (Oh, and if you are ever in need of a good resource on kids' teeth, this Mom's Guide is something I've found very useful: http://www.1dental.com/moms-guide/) Hope your daughter is able to kick the habit. Good luck!!

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