The Facts And Fictions About Thumb Sucking: Part 3

thumb sucking appliancesIn part two of our facts and fictions about thumb sucking series, we discussed the health problems associated with thumb sucking and pacifier use.

Extensive thumb sucking and pacifier use may not be linked to speech impairments as previously thought, but they are related to other health problems such as open bite and infection.

Here in part three, we’ll help you figure out what you can do to help your child break their thumb sucking habit.

What can I do to help my child stop sucking their thumb?

It’s important to remember not to punish your child for sucking their thumb. Thumbsucking can easily become a habit in later years because, in infancy, thumb sucking is a reflex.

When you punish your child for sucking their thumb, it doesn’t break the habit but instead persuades the child to suck their thumb in private.

Here are a few positive tips you can use to help your child stop sucking their thumb:

  1. Talk to your child. Talking to your child about their thumb sucking habit won’t help them break the habit, but it can help your child decide whether or not they want to stop sucking their thumb. In some cases, your child may not even be aware that they suck their thumb.
  2. Use chewelry. If your child sucks their thumb because of the oral stimulation rather than the sucking sensation on their finger, consider using chewelry (jewelry you can chew) as a safe alternative.
  3. Positive reward system. Children like structure and they like to be praised. A positive reward system such as getting a sticker every time they don’t suck their thumb can be a great way to get your child to break their habit.

Consider using thumb sucking appliances

It can be challenging to break your own habits, let alone your child’s. Fortunately, thumb sucking prevention doesn’t have to be difficult.

Thumb sucking appliances like the TGuard finger guard are plastic thumb guards that are gentle enough for your child to wear. Although they don’t keep your child from putting their thumb in their mouth, they do stop the sucking sensation that thumb sucking provides.

It’s this sucking sensation that your child finds comfort in. Because of this, when your child no longer experiences the sucking sensation on their thumb, they won’t be tempted to put their thumb in their mouth.

Thumb sucking appliances like the TGuard classic have proven to be 90% effective in breaking thumb sucking habits. To learn more about thumb sucking deterrents like the TGuard classic, contact TGuard today.