Is your child a strong thumb sucker? Sucking the thumb after the permanent teeth come in can interfere with the proper growth of the jaw and the alignment of the teeth. The more often your child sucks their thumb, the higher chances of developing dental issues. Issues such as open bite and overbite can happen due to constant thumb sucking. Fortunately, you can prevent these oral issues by breaking the habit of thumb-sucking in time. Here is how to help your child stop thumb-sucking:
Teach Them New Coping Skills
Before you implement tips to help your baby stop sucking their thumbs, you need to figure out why they do it. Sometimes, children turn to their thumbs when they need comfort. They can also suck their fingers when bored. Once you understand why they engage in such acts, you will know how to distract them. For instance, if your child craves their thumb during stressful situations, you can help them perform activities such as kid-friendly yoga or listening to music. You can also encourage them to engage in activities that keep their hands busy.
Reward Your Child
Motivation is the best way to keep children from putting their thumbs or fingers in their mouths. Instead of scolding them when they suck their fingers, try to teach them the dangers of thumb-sucking. You can even reward them for not sucking their thumbs.
Get Help From a Professional
You may have heard from others that you could put a bitter substance on the thumb to prevent your child from sucking it. Unfortunately, some substances can harm the mouth or overall health. For this reason, you may need to talk to a pediatric dentist about the thumb-sucking habit. They may introduce a special device to be placed in the mouth to make it uncomfortable for them to suck their thumbs. Give us a call, and our pediatric dentists will help your child stop sucking their thumbs.
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