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What Happens If Child Keeps Sucking Their Thumb?

Babies are born with the reflex to suck anything that is put in their mouth to form good eating habits. This reflex usually disappears over time. Unfortunately, some kids don't stop this habit easily and need a little help to stop. You can also visit this site to know more about how to stop thumb sucking in children.

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The longer the thumb sucking and dummy practice continue, the higher the risk of difficulties with their teeth and that might indicate the need for costly corrective orthodontics!

If thumb or finger sucking is continued beyond the age of five, we are concerned that the changes in the shape and growth of the jaw and the position of the teeth may permanently change in adults.

The sucking intensity plays an important role in the development of dental problems. If the child calmly sucks on their thumb, the damage may be restricted and the habit may be easier to control.  

Sturdy sucking, on the other hand, can cause changes to the roof of the mouth that interfere with constant biting and are usually more difficult to perform even without more forceful measures.

The younger the age at which a kid stops this thumb sucking, the more probable it is that their teeth and jaw will correct their natural growth problems. Ideally, the dummy should be abandoned and thumb sucking habit should be stopped before the child is three years old.

How To Address Thumb Sucking In Children

Ultimately, it’s up to your child to break the thumb-sucking habit. However, there are a few things parents should be aware of when trying to stop their children from sucking their thumb, as well as some strategies they can try. You can also know more about how to stop thumb sucking in children through various online sources. 

Effects of Thumb-Sucking on Children's Dental Health | Absolute Dental

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Keep calm

Yelling or insisting that your child stop sucking their thumb doesn’t help. While you may be concerned about the potential damage they do to their teeth or the germs they carry into their mouth, getting upset with a child isn’t likely to lead to cooperation.

Make a deviation

If you see your kid sucking their thumb, make certain it has something to do with their hand (for example, give them a stress ball to press). However, if your kid sucks their thumb out of nervousness, it’s not enough just to distract them or get them to do something. You need to address the source of their concern.

If they suck their thumb when they’re tired, support them to color a picture, throw a ball back and forth, or draw with their fingers – whatever keeps their little hands busy.

Give lots of compliments

Instead of constantly pointing out their thumb sucking and drawing attention to the behavior, encourage and praise them when they don’t suck. You want to focus on the behavior that you want to see, not the ones you don’t.