How to discourage Thumb Sucking?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 06, 2013

Thumb sucking can be a cause of embarrassment for older children; they can become the target of teasing and criticism from their peers. If the habits persist - after the permanent teeth have erupted - it can cause dental and speech problems. Read on to know how to discourage thumb sucking.

  • Many children outgrow this problem by the time they are 5-6 years old.
  • Discourage it from when you start to feel your child can understand your feelings.
  • Most children suck their thumb when they sit idle.  Keep your child engaged as much as possible, like with crayons, pencils, toys or clay.
  • Keep them engaged in talking, as this makes thumb-sucking difficult.
  • Use methods of reward or a praise system, if they avoid sucking for a period of time.
  • Remind them gently if they start sucking their thumb, but avoid insulting or embarrassing them in front of others.
  • If your child sucks his thumb at night, use gloves, socks or adhesive bandages to prevent it.

The key is patience; thumb sucking is an unattractive habit, but most children outgrow it.



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