Top Mistakes Parents Make When Dealing With Their Child’s ‘Earliest Addiction’ — Thumb-Sucking

thumb guard for thumb suckers An estimated 10% of children will continue to suck their thumb after the ages of two or three. That being said, there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the best practices for getting children to kick what experts call their ‘first addiction.’ However, it’s easy for them to lose progress and fall behind if the proper steps and precautions aren’t being taken. Here are just a few common mistakes parents make when weaning their child off the habit of sucking their thumb.

Starting Too Soon

It’s generally agreed that age four is considered the best time to discourage your child from thumb sucking, and the American Dental Association agrees. However, some child care experts think that it’s okay to wait until they’re a bit older to wean them off the habit.

“Most experts agree that a thumb sucker younger than five shouldn’t be pressured to stop. Most children will give up the habit on their own before they enter kindergarten…In fact, more than three-quarters of infants suck their thumbs or fingers through the first year of life. A child usually turns to the thumb when bored, tired, or upset,” writes Scott H. Chandler on WebMD.

Not Knowing When It Becomes a Problem

On the contrary, it can be easy to let time pass without realizing that the thumb sucking has, in fact, become a problem. Don’t ever let your child continue to suck their thumb without coming up with some sort of plan to wean them off the habit. If you need professional advice, don’t hesitate to talk to your child’s doctor.

Not Considering a Thumb Guard

Finally, it’s important to explore the wide range of thumb sucking appliances that have become available to combat the habit of thumb sucking. Buying a thumb guard for thumb suckers is one of the best methods proven to help your child get rid of the habit for good. Thumb guards for toddlers are designed to place a barrier between your child’s thumb and mouth when they try to engage in the habit, making thumb sucking impossible.

Over 75% of children’s cases of overbites and underbites have benefited from early intervention, and taking the proper steps is the best way to make it easy for your child to kick the habit. For more information about buying a thumb guard for thumb suckers, contact T Guard.