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When Should I Begin Thumb Sucking Prevention For My Child?

thumb sucking prevention

Thumb sucking is a normal behavior for babies and younger children. It’s a natural reflex for the child, especially between times of nursing. However, parents whose children continue to suck their thumb as they grow may begin to wonder when thumb sucking prevention may be necessary.

When should thumb sucking prevention begin?

Age four is the best time for you to begin thumb sucking prevention for your child. Approximately 5% of children will suck their thumbs after age four or five.

At this age, your child has begun school and has stopped nursing. That being said, thumb sucking and finger sucking is more of a habit at this age for your child rather than a reflex. Your child most likely sucks their thumb for comfort when they’re stressed.

Why is thumb sucking a problem?

At a young age, thumb sucking may actually be a good thing for your child. This is because children who suck their thumbs and bite their nails at a young age are more exposed to germs and so they’re less likely to experience allergies later in life.

However, as your child grows older (around age five and six), their permanent teeth begin to come in. Your child’s teeth and palate can become malformed with the routine and constant sucking of their thumb.

What’s more, your child may also suffer from a developmental delay in speech. This is because your child speaks less when they have their thumb in their mouth. Therefore, although they may be hearing words, they’re not using them for their own devices.

How can I prevent my child from sucking their thumb?

You may be able to discourage your child from sucking their thumb by providing them with another form of comfort that isn’t finger sucking. However, if you’re unable to deter your child from sucking their thumb, a thumb sucking guard is another viable option.

Thumb sucking guards are a thumb sucking deterrent that prevents your child from experiencing the sucking sensation on their finger. As a result, the device may not prevent them from putting their thumb in their mouth but it prevents them from deriving pleasure from it.

Thumb sucking can cause a number of health problems for your child if they continue to suck their thumb as they grow. A T Guard finger guard can help to stop thumb sucking before it becomes a problem for your child. For more information on T Guards and how they work, contact T Guard today.