Unexpected Social Side Effects of Thumb Sucking

tguard finger guard

If your child is sucking their thumb past the age of two or three, it’s become a bad habit that can extend into preschool and kindergarten. While you might know about the dental issues associated with prolonged thumb sucking, many parents don’t consider the negative implications thumb sucking can have on a child’s social development.

Not every child that sucks their thumb will be bullied when they enter school, but many experience negative interactions stemming from their bad habit. Bullies will prey on anything that makes an individual stand out, whether it be a child’s clothes or their thumb sucking habit. Peer pressure can often stop thumb sucking because of anxiety — however, sometimes it creates a feedback loop of thumb sucking as the child tries to cope with these external pressures. Prevent bullying against your children by utilizing a TGuard Finger Guard or other types of plastic thumb guards.

Stunted Communication
This can occur in two different ways: first, a child may be less likely to engage in social conversations due to anxiety, and so they feel inclined to suck their thumbs. This puts a literal barrier between themselves and the person with whom they are trying to speak. Because of this, the habit becomes a crutch to stop social engagement with other people, depriving them of the vital learning skills they need at this young age. This act of self-soothing creates a feedback loop that is difficult for the child to exit.

This also affects their communication in a more obvious way — if the palate is damaged from thumb sucking, speech impediments can form. This can inhibit the communication skills of the child since they are less likely to engage in conversation out of fear they will be judged by the way they speak.

Perceived Image
This principle applies both to the perceived image of the individual by others and the perceived self-image. If your child won’t stop finger sucking, this can eventually lead to palate damage and teeth misalignment in their later years. Though crooked teeth aren’t always detrimental to one’s health, crooked teeth are a trait that is often looked down on by others, thereby affecting your child’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth in a negative way. According to one study, nearly 80% of people with crooked teeth had higher levels of confidence after their teeth were straightened.

Utilizing thumb sucking remedies early on, like a TGuard Finger Guard or another anti thumb sucking device, is essential to prevent permanent damage. Be sure to use a brand of finger guard or other thumb sucking deterrent that is proven effective for children. The TGuard Finger Guard has been proven to help a number of children break their thumb sucking habit.