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How to Stop Thumbsucking in Children

Posted on 1/15/2024 by O'Sullivan, Deluca & Ressel Dental Care
Smiling child sucking thumb. Thumbsucking is a natural coping mechanism children use to stay calm and fight boredom. Kids usually develop this habit during teething. However, thumbsucking can be harmful once a child grows permanent teeth. It can cause oral health issues like teeth misalignment, increasing the need for braces. Here are a few tips to help your child to refrain from sucking their thumb.

Identify the Causes

Identify the reasons for thumbsucking to help your child to stop the habit. You can efficiently work to stop the habit if you know why they are doing it in the first place. Your child may suck their thumb out of boredom or unease. Keep them busy and engaged through games and educational videos to help them refrain from thumbsucking. If you preoccupy your child with fun activities that involve using their hands, they will forget about sucking their thumb.

Have Your Kid Wear Mittens

Some kids suck their thumb as a way of soothing themselves to sleep. You can have your kid wear mittens to prevent thumbsucking as they go to bed. You can also play soothing music or read bedtime stories to help them sleep. And if possible, keep bedtime consistent to help your child fall asleep faster.

Be Patient

Never punish your child for sucking their thumb. Thumbsucking can be addictive, and most kids have challenges overcoming the habit. As such, you should remain patient as you work to help your child overcome the behavior. Do not give up too early. Your commitment will bear fruit over time.

Praise Good Behavior

Praise your child every time they refrain from thumbsucking. Reward them with their favorite treats or stickers to appreciate their efforts. However, avoid giving your child sugary snacks to prevent tooth cavities and decay.

Consult a Dentist

Contact a pediatric dentist for assistance. The dentist might fix a palatal thumb crib in the mouth or coat the thumb with a bitter medication to discourage thumbsucking. Call us today for more practical tips on how to stop thumbsucking in your child.

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Spring Hill, FL 34609-2463

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DeLuca, Ressel, & Congemi Dental Care - Dr. James DeLuca DMD, Dr. Nick Ressel DMD, 3429 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, FL 34609 ^ (352) 666-9898 ^ ^ 6/13/2024 ^ Tags: dentist spring hill fl ^