Break the Habit of Thumb Sucking


Babies and young children satisfy the natural reflex to suck by sucking on pacifiers, fingers or thumbs. However, thumb sucking can affect the alignment of permanent teeth as they grow. Here are suggestions to help your child stop sucking his or her thumb:

  • Don’t scold the child when he sucks his thumb, but praise him when he is not doing it.
  • If your child sucks his thumb when upset, anxious or frightened, try to resolve the root of the problem.
  • For a child old enough to understand, let him or her decide on how to break the habit.
  • Have your child talk to the doctor or dentist about the damage that can be done by continuing to suck his thumb.
  • Try wrapping the thumb in bandage, sock or coating it with a bitter tasting solutions.
  • Keep the child’s hand occupied with some puzzle or toys.

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