How Can I Discourage My Child’s Habit of Thumb Sucking?

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It’s normal for young children to go through a period of sucking on their thumbs, but a prolonged or aggressive habit can negatively impact the natural alignment of their teeth and delay developments in their smile. We invite you to speak with our dentist about how you can help your child quit thumb sucking.

One of the dangers of thumb sucking is impaired tooth development, which is why any concerns about thumb sucking should be addressed quickly. By age four, children typically begin receiving their permanent teeth, and any habits of sucking on fingers, thumbs, or pacifiers should be addressed and put behind them.

It’s important to know what encourages thumb sucking. For many children, it’s a means of protection and comforting themselves. Active praising can help them build their self-confidence so that they no longer need to rely on thumb sucking. If no tactic seems to be effective, you should speak with your pediatrician, who may provide a foul but non-harming substance to put on your child’s fingers so that thumb sucking becomes unappealing.

With proper care, teeth can last as long as a lifetime. Please feel free to contact Mesa Dental Care at 480-730-0500 today and speaking our dentist, Dr. Ali Nia, if you are unsure how to discourage thumb sucking in Mesa, Arizona.