For some of us as parents and children, we know how difficult it is to stop ‘the habit’ i.e. thumb-sucking! It is probably one of the most common habits, and for the majority of us, we often stop in our early years.
However, it is a hard habit to break and there are several ways and bribes that we have all given to our children.
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Why stop thumb-sucking?
If your child is still sucking their thumb once the permanent teeth have erupted, it can start to cause effects on the teeth. If the thumb is placed in the mouth for prolonged periods of time, the thumb itself is acting as a brace – pushing the upper front teeth forwards and the lower front teeth back.
As the thumb is resting between the upper and lower teeth, it can also prevent the normal eruption of the anterior teeth, causing an open bite and the front teeth do not meet. If the habit is stopped early, the teeth can start to return to their normal positions as children are going through their growth and development.
How to stop thumb or finger sucking?
As parents, we often start with rewards or little bribes to our children, but as we know this doesn’t always work. Often, the thumb is sucked for comfort, and anything to ‘break’ the comfort will aid in stopping the habit. We first have to start with the child – if he or she is determined to stop the habit, it will happen, but having a habit breaker will aid in the cessation of the habit.