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Babies practice thumb-sucking while still in the womb. Babies suck their thumbs   because it is comforting and calming.  If your child strongly sucks his thumb beyond the age of around 4 years old, it may affect his dental formula. His upper teeth may push forward. If the child stops thumb-sucking before his permanent teeth show up, this condition may resolve itself. If it does not get fixed, he may need treatment to realign his teeth and help prevent broken front teeth.




How to help your child stop the thumb-sucking habit ?

The first way to deal with your child’s thumb sucking habits is to ignore them. Most children will stop on their own. This habit is unlikely to affect the dental formula of the child until the permanent teeth start coming in, which is usually around 6 years. Most children will stop the habit by this time. Teasing , punishing and using harsh words will only upset the child and is not an effective way to stop the habit.
Other effective ways include the following :

  • praise or reward the child when he does not suck his thumb. You can use daily rewards and gentle reminders during the day.
  • if you child is using thumb sucking to comfort or calm himself, distract him with fun activities or keep his hands busy
  • If you see any changes in your child’s dental formula, talk to his dentist. There are devices that can be put in the mouth to make thumb-sucking uncomfortable

Most children stop this habit when they start school . This is due to peer pressure. Putting too much pressure on the child may cause more harm than good.
Content Sources

Thumb-sucking and pacifiers. American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed July 22, 2015
Break the thumb sucking habit.WebMD. Accessed July 23 , 2015
Thumb-sucking. Baby center. Accessed July 23, 2015


September 17, 2019 | 4:42 30    By oohs N coos    

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