Concerned Parent on How to Stop Thumbsucking

Most parents are aware that thumb sucking is natural especially in babies. However, there is a growing concern when the habit is carried on until the child is older. The ADA or American Dental Association stated that this habit is not a problem in babies and toddlers. However, thumb sucking must not go beyond ages four or five because it can cause jaw line and teeth problems.


Statistics show that 85% to 99% of kids were able to outgrow such habit before the age of four. However, if your child continues thumb sucking, it is time that you learn how to stop thumbsucking once and for all.


Studies and researches have proven that children with persistent thumb sucking issues are those whose parents attempted to stop the habit at a very young age. Most parents believe in the saying ‘you can’t teach old dogs new tricks’. They believe that it is easier to end the habit while the child is still young, and they would go through the extent of taking out the thumb from the mouth of their child.


You need to understand that kids suck their thumbs when they need to be comforted, or if they are bored, tired, and sleepy. Applying pressure on a child that thumb sucks are wrong, and the problem can become ingrained if not addressed properly. It is your child’s decision to stop or continue with thumb sucking. Hence, you have to create an environment wherein he or she is unable to suck the fingers or thumb.


Some children who want to stop thumb sucking are still defeated by their inborn reflexes. Instead of pointing it out to your child, try developing a sort of signal that only you and your child can understand. When you give the signal, your child will know what to do.


Your child’s dentist or pediatrician can help you out. When you take your child to the doctor, it is a great time for the medical professional to talk with your little one. Kids look up to these professionals, and when they are told about the disadvantages of thumb sucking over the age of 4 or 5, they will listen.


The doctor can also prescribe the use of a device to stop sucking fingers, just like the one found at You should give adequate time and effort in helping your child to put an end to thumb sucking.


For new parents, never take out the thumb from your child’s mouth by force. If you keep on doing this, more problems may arise in the future. The most common cause of thumb sucking is stopping the habit at a very early age, using the wrong techniques. It pays to possess the right knowledge about this issue.


The sad truth is that some parents contribute to the unhealthy thumb sucking habit. Talk to your child about how he or she is growing, and that thumb sucking hinders proper development. You can also tell your child that sucking the thumb over four or five years old can lead to tooth damage and illness.