If you’re concerned your child will be teased for their thumbsucking, if their thumbsucking is affecting their teeth, or if their thumbsucking has continued past the age of 4, here are a few ways you can encourage your child to stop.
Excessive scolding can be a source of anxiety and stress for a child, which can lead the child to seek comforting habits and continue the habit. We recommend encouraging good behavior; praise your child when you notice they’re not sucking their thumb, or keep a calendar and add a star for every day your child abstains from sucking their thumb.
If your child uses thumbsucking as a comforting method before bed, you can try putting a sock or oven mitt over their hand. This also acts as a reminder during the night for children who are committed to breaking the habit but can slip back into it while they sleep.
Children like to be included in adult conversations, and bringing in an expert can help your child understand and allows them to accept more responsibility. Elite dentists Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins
/about’}}}} are dedicated to family dentistry, and can help explain the impact thumbsucking can have on your child’s teeth. This is a great way to encourage your child to take charge of their health.
Certain clear nail polishes are made specifically to discourage nail biting and thumbsucking, and are safe to ingest but taste unpleasant. If your child’s thumbsucking is holding them back from making friends in school, or if it’s impacting their dental health, bad-tasting nail polish can be used as a last resort.
If you have questions about your child’s dental health, or if you’re concerned about your child’s thumbsucking habits, you don’t have to worry alone. Though thumbsucking is a habit that typically goes away during childhood, severe thumbsucking can affect even permanent teeth.
To schedule a family dentistry appointment in Spokane Valley with Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins at Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics, please call (509) 927-2273 today.