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Homenavarrow Health & Personal Care

How to stop thumb sucking

Many parents have thought how cute their newborns look when they suck their tiny thumbs. But when a child becomes six or even a teenager, thumb sucking isn't nearly as cute. And the other the kids are, the harder it becomes to break a once adorable habit. Here are some things you can do to try and curb thumb sucking.

Special nail polish
There are special nail polishes you can buy that have a really bad taste to prevent both thumb sucking and nail biting. Because it tastes so bad, it discourages kids from putting their fingers in their mouths. Do be aware that some kids either like the taste (although I don't know how!) or learn to live with it, because their thumb sucking or nail biting habit is so strong!

These are special guards you can buy at many pharmacies as well as online that fit over the wrist, hand and thumb. Some are plastic while others are fabric and can vary in price from $10 to over $100 for the top of the line thumb guards.

Orthodontic device
If your child has caused orthodontic problems with his or her teeth, you might be best to go with an orthodontic device with both corrects the problem caused by thumb sucking as well as with a built in device that discourages thumb sucking, particularly at night. Your dentist can also fit a special mouthguard that prevents thumb sucking but doesn't have a corrective elment as well, which will keep the initial cost down.

Thumb sucking can be a hard habibt to break. If your child sucks his or her thumb at night, it is a subconscious act, so simply telling them not to do it won't help for nighttime sucking, but it may have some success for curbing daytime thumb sucking.

As children get older, they also naturally want to end this habit, especially because of peer pressure and because thumb sucking is seen as babyish. But if the habit isn't broken, your child may not want to have sleepovers, since they might be caught sucking his or her thumb.


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