Breaking the Thumb-Sucking Habit

If you’re a tired or worried toddler, thumb sucking is a convenient and effective way to soothe yourself. In most cases, it causes no harm and your child will outgrow it soon enough.

If you or your dentist would like your toddler to kick the thumb-sucking habit before entering preschool or daycare, gentle encouragement is the way to go.

Try creating a chart with stars or stickers for days (or even portions of days) that your child doesn’t suck her thumb. You can even let her put the stickers on herself to add fun and another incentive.

Not Good for the Long Term

Your dentist will want your child to give up thumb sucking and pacifier use before his permanent teeth come in, and ideally by age 4. Frequent, prolonged sucking like this can negatively affect growth and alignment of the jaw and teeth.

Observe when and why your child sucks her thumb. Is it when she’s tired, stressed or bored? Are there ways that you can ease or alter the causes of the thumb sucking?

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

Powered by UbiCare

We use cookies and similar technologies to enhance your experience on our website and help us
understand how our site is used as described in our Privacy Statement and Terms of Use. By
using this website, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.
Accept and Close