How to Stop Thumb Sucking

Many children suck their thumbs; however, most children stop sucking their thumbs by the age of four or five. Often, a child will suck their thumb if they are afraid, nervous or unsure of what is going on. However, if this habit goes on too long, it can lead to speech or dental problems. There are a few tips that will help you deal with this problem effectively such as encouragement, love and a few tricks of the trade. How to stop thumb sucking is not difficult but it does take time, effort and ingenuity.

For some children, thumb sucking that goes on a long time may mean that your child is having an emotional problem and may need to see a pediatrician. Most importantly, prolonged thumb sucking can lead to a dental problem such as the roof a child’s mouth protruding over the bottom teeth. This may require dental visits to correct the alignment of the teeth and that means braces. Some have found success by using a thumb guard.

In addition to misaligned teeth, a child may also develop speech problems such as developing a lisp. One way to help inspire your child to stop sucking his thumb is to explain that by not sucking his thumb, he or she will have a lovely smile and teeth that look beautiful. Another way to inspire your child not to suck his thumb is to talk about germs that can get into his mouth when sucking his thumb and that may make him or her feel sick.

Another way to help your child with this matter is to keep your child’s hands busy with games, puzzles or a favorite activity. Try this method when he or she wants to suck their thumbs. Keeping a child busy or involved in another activity will eventually stop the thumb sucking. Some parents have found that when they praise their child for not sucking their thumb, the child eventually stops because they like the praise and encouragement.

In addition, some parents have found that by giving their child a reward for not sucking their thumb an effective way to help stop the habit. It is important to note that to stop thumb sucking may take several methods. One other method that might help is by making a chart and putting gold stars on the days when he or she doesn’t suck their fingers. Most children respond to colors and shapes and this is one method that some have found helpful..