How to Deal With Thumb Sucking

Photo by Kyle Nieber on Unsplash

Thumb sucking is calming and comforting for kids. The habit starts when the child is younger and may continue when the child is older. How can you help your child to stop thumb sucking?

Don’t worry too much

Kids can suck their thumb without damaging the teeth or jaw alignment. It only becomes a problem when the permanent teeth start to develop.

When this happens, the child may need braces later in life. This does not apply to kids that suck their thumb passively.

Watch the child

If the child sucks vigorously, you should arrange to curb the habit as soon as possible. Consult a dentist if you notice changes in the child’s mouth and you are not sure about what is responsible for the problem.

Also, if the thumb of the infant becomes chapped and red from sucking apply some moisturizer at night.

Let it go

Many kids stop sucking their thumbs without any pressure by 2 to 4 years old. Others may continue for longer. Peer pressure in school also deters this habit. Nagging and punishing will not help but will intensify the desire to suck more. Do not resort to using unjust punishment to hasten the process.

Keep your child busy

Thumb sucking is more common when a child is bored. Identify the triggers and distract it with a fun activity.