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Ways to Limit the Habit of Thumb Sucking

Last updated 5 years ago

Certain habits can interfere with the eruption and development of your child’s permanent teeth. One of the most common childhood habits responsible for oral malocclusions and jawbone abnormalities is thumb sucking or sucking on a pacifier. Continue reading to learn how you can effectively limit your child’s thumb sucking habits.

Eliminate the Cause of Anxiety
Most children suck their thumb or use a pacifier as a way to comfort themselves. A good way to reduce this habit is to address the underlying cause of your child’s anxiety rather than distracting them with a pacifier or allowing them to rely on their thumb.

Use Gloves or a Bandage at Night
Consider having your child wear cotton gloves or socks on their hands at night if they suck their thumb in their sleep. You may also consider placing a soft bandage around your child’s hand while they sleep to prevent thumb sucking.

Provide a Sensory Object
A great way to break your child's thumb sucking habit is to provide them with a sensory object such as a soft blanket or piece of fabric that they can keep in their pocket. While this may not provide an alternative for oral stimulation, it will help soothe your child and provide them with another form of comfort during stressful situations.

Praise Your Child When They Show Restraint
It is important never to scold your child for sucking their thumb. Instead, reward your child with praise and attention when they are able to avoid sucking their thumb during instances in which they would usually do so.

Are your child’s oral habits affecting the development of his or her teeth? Get the pediatric dentistry services your family needs by contacting Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dentistry in Long Island at (516) 798-1111. You can also set up an appointment with our children’s dentist and special needs dentist by visiting us on the Web.


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