How Do I Stop My Child From Sucking Their Thumb?

It's understandable to feel concerned if your child is still sucking their thumb past the toddler years. It's a habit that can be challenging to break, as it provides a sense of comfort and security for them. However, it's essential to approach this habit with kindness and understanding. This article will cover how you can finally break that thumb-sucking habit. Read on to learn more. 

The Potential Risks of Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking causes the shape of the upper palate to change to fit the shape of the thumb, rather than having the palate shaped by the tongue. This may cause the palate to be too narrow which can in turn cause breathing issues in the child. The palate is shaped by keeping the tongue on the roof of the mouth making the palate nice and wide to accommodate the larger adult teeth that will take the space of the smaller baby teeth. When the palate is shaped by the thumb instead the palate is too narrow and too high. If you notice your child is not waking up rested after a full nights sleep, or is breathing through their mouth rather than their nose, give us a call to do a full exam of their breathing habits. 

Ways to Break the Habit of Thumb Sucking

Here are tips that you and your family should consider trying:

Create a reward system

You can reward your child whenever they don't suck their thumb for a designated period in a day or week.

Talk to them openly and positively

Talk to your child in an understanding and positive way. Explain why they need to drop the habit and encourage them with positive reinforcement when they are not doing it.

Suggest alternative ways to soothe themselves

School-age kids may be able to cope with anxiety or stress by reading a book or writing in journals. Encourage your child to try out these activities during their free time.

When Is It Time to See a Professional About Thumb-Sucking?

If the problem persists and you've tried all the methods outlined above, it might be time to consult a professional about stopping your child's thumb-sucking habit. Your dentist may recommend using behavior modification techniques and dental appliances.

Contact us to Book an Appointment

If you feel that you need a helping hand in stopping your child from sucking their thumb, don't hesitate to contact the team at Restore Health Dentistry. We understand how difficult it can be as a parent even to bring up this topic, let alone try and implement ways to stop it, which is why we are here! Dr. Nancy William is confident in helping your little one break their habit.

We recognize that every child is different and has different needs, so we work closely with you and your family before creating a unique treatment plan that works best for everyone involved. With our support, you can rest assured that this tricky process will be easier for you and your child – no matter how tough it may seem!

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