3 Tips on How to Break the Thumb Sucking Habit

how to stop thumb sucking At first, it was just a cute little baby habit. Thumb sucking just seemed to go along with all the other cute things your infant did every day. But time has passed. Your baby is a little bit older, and yet the thumb sucking still continues. Now you’re wondering: how do you get your child to stop thumb sucking?

You’re concerned about germs, crooked teeth…and maybe that your child has a habit that won’t stop for years to come, if at all. Here are 3 tips to help you understand what to do about it and how to stop thumb sucking.

Wear a Device

There are a lot of anti-thumb sucking devices available to help answer the question about how to stop thumb sucking. Thumb sucking gloves, a thumb sucking guard and finger guards for kids are just a few of the many thumb sucking deterrents to choose from. Understanding how to stop thumb sucking can prevent dental problems such as crooked teeth in the future.

Offer Rewards

Positive reinforcement works!!! Every time your little one refrains from thumb sucking, you can provide a special treat. Maybe a visit to the game arcade, or staying up a bit later, or even going to a movie. The rewards don’t have to be big or elaborate. Just special enough to get started on breaking the habit and start on the road of how to stop thumb sucking!

Let the Pro Speak

An impartial observer such as a dentist, pediatrician or even your friendly neighborhood pharmacist might be just the person to encourage your little one to break the habit. Sometimes, in a situation that deals with behavior and habits, the voice of a third party can be very effective. Even as adults, this is often the case. A little distance can make a big difference!

To sum up, pediatricians say that thumb sucking begins in the womb as a natural instinct and that 95% of children will break the habit by the age of 4 or 5. If your child is still thumb sucking at the age of 4, the American Dental Association advises that it is most likely a good time to start to wean them away from the habit and start them on a future path filled with bright, beautiful smiles!