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?

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

Powered by UbiCare

X
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Confirm