Tips To Help Your Child Stop Thumb-Sucking

Tips To Help Your Child Stop Thumb-SuckingThumb-sucking is a natural reflex for children to soothe themselves. Infants often suck on their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers, etc. as a way to feel calm or to fall asleep. Did you know that thumb-sucking often occurs when babies are still in the womb? Children usually stop sucking on thumbs or pacifiers between the ages of two and four years old. If they continue to keep the habit when the permanent teeth start to emerge, it can be problematic.  Breaking a pacifier habit is generally a bit easier to break than thumb-sucking because a pacifier can be taken away. We have some tips on how to help your child stop sucking their thumbs

Keep It Positive

If your child continues their sucking-habit past the age of four or five, you can begin to gently discourage them. Children can be insecure about the habit, so it is important to keep it positive. Praise your child when they are not sucking their thumb. Help them manage any stress or anxiety that is causing them to want to suck their thumb. You can always ask your dentist or orthodontist to speak to your child about the consequences of continued, vigorous thumb-sucking. You can put a band-aid or wrap around the thumb especially if the habit occurs subconsciously when your child is asleep. It is rare for complications to develop, but it is important to talk to your child about the potential consequences.

The Negative Effects

If a child still has a sucking habit of a pacifier, thumb, or other object when permanent teeth begin to emerge, the habit may affect the alignment of the teeth. While a passive sucking is unlikely to make any difference, vigorous sucking can cause a problem with the development of your children’s mouth, jaw, and teeth. Aggressive thumb-sucking may lead to permanent front teeth to jut out affecting the development and growth of the jaw.

Dr. Cabal can help with your family’s smiles

Good habits instilled at a young age can make a difference for a lifetime. To schedule your consultation call Lake Country Orthodontics at (817) 236-7846. Located in Ft. Worth, TX, our office proudly serves patients who live in White Settlement, North Ft. Worth, Springtown, Rome, Haslet, Azle, Saginaw, and all surrounding communities.