Helping Your Child to Overcome the Habit of Thumb Sucking

Helping Your Child to Overcome the Habit of Thumb Sucking

May 01, 2020

Children have a fascination with their fingers and thumbs and are prone to sucking them from the moment they discover these parts of the body. You may have observed a grainy image of your little one when you may have undergone an ultrasound during pregnancy, looking at your child happily self-soothing itself in the womb.

It may have appeared cute at that particular moment, but at the age of three or four trying to prevent thumb sucking in Bloomfield may seem like a chore that is not just difficult but nearly impossible. This is to indicate it may never happen unless you make a conscious effort to prevent the problem and help the child to overcome the habit.

You may have decided it could be a good idea to help your little one beat the habit right now, and if so, here is how you can stop it and learn everything you need to know about thumbsucking.

Strategies That Can Help Your Child to Quit the Habit

Some children do not realize they can develop thumb sucking teeth if they stick with the habit. They need help from the parent in a way that is curious rather than condemning. Parents should be asking their children whether there is something they would like to do other than thumbsucking that will make them feel just as good, or do they even know why they are doing it?

Learning about Thumbsucking Together

The pediatric dentist near you will suggest it is a good idea to learn about thumbsucking with the child by tapping resources that the child is using to get most of their advice. Watching a TV show where a character has to give up the habit and talking to the child about doing the same can prove beneficial.

Applying Bitter Stuff to the Fingers

The pediatric dentist near me may suggest you apply bad-tasting polish to the fingers because it can deter children from sucking their thumbs. However, experts do not suggest this approach because it is not the best way to break the child’s habit. Children that are motivated to stop and just need a reminder to give up the habit only need a taste of the stuff to help them discreetly without interfering with their movement.

Observing the Patterns of Thumbsucking

Children that only suck their thumbs before bedtime may need another way to wind down as they prepare to sleep. A cup of warm milk or herbal tea safe for children before nighttime teeth brushing may prove beneficial in such cases.

If the child indulges in thumbsucking when he or she is anxious, angry, sad, or stressed, they should be provided with another coping mechanism that will help them to replace the thumbsucking habit.

Offering Rewards or Incentives

The pediatric dentist near Bloomfield may suggest parents try offering rewards or incentives because it can be difficult to phase them out but can still motivate some children because they love opportunities to earn rewards or privileges simply for spending time without sucking their thumbs.

Role-Playing Can Also Help

Children often have role-playing models like a favorite toy or animal that can be used to good advantage. Parents can pretend the particular animal or toy wants to stop sucking his thumb and asked the child to help it achieve its goal by setting a good example and even offering suggestions.

Why Do Children Suck Their Thumbs?

It is an instinctual habit, and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, all babies are born with an intense desire to suck. It may be a good idea because sucking is a form of nourishment for babies to eat from the breast or the bottle.

Infants find the sensation of sucking soothing and continue to do it beyond feeding sessions. Some children and toddlers may prefer pacifiers to satisfy their sucking requirements, but others may continue using their thumbs for the gratification.

Taking the Child to a Dentist

Thumb sucking in Bloomfield is also prevalent among children, and pediatric dentists in Bloomfield suggest taking the advice of Bloomfield Pediatric Dentistry that may nudge the child into kicking the thumbsucking habit for good. It is suggested that parents make an appointment with this facility and request a discussion with a professional to have a chat with the little one to help them take good care of their teeth and mouth.

It is common for pediatric dental offices to have colorful and kid-friendly resources to educate children. They will certainly be able to put the parent’s minds at ease by providing them information about whether the habit is interfering with the child’s oral development as well, besides making attempts to get the child to kick the habit.

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