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How to stop your child from thumb sucking

humb sucking in children is pretty normal, however if this does not stop by the time your child has their second teeth coming through excessive thumb sucking can lead to the front teeth being out of alignment – otherwise known as buck teeth – and potentially even lead to a lisp. It is recommended that children stop thumb sucking at roughly the age of two, as it is between the ages of two-four that impact can occur, increasing the chance of needing braces to straighten teeth.

Thumb sucking at a continued rate and at a later age can mean that your children will need to take measures to straighten teeth. Your children may not need orthodontics braces; however lengthened thumb sucking may lead to unnecessary treatment based on the fact that they’re thumb sucking at a later stage. See the following ways that you can encourage your child to stop thumb sucking:

  • Reward your child when they decide to stop
  • Place a band aid over the thumb just before bed
  • Encourage a replacement for thumb sucking. For example give them a snuggle toy to hold rather than thumb sucking
  • Praise your child when they aren’t sucking their thumb
  • Try getting your child to stop thumb sucking one step at a time. For example try getting them to stop just in public, and then eventually move on to bed time

Children suck their thumbs to soothe themselves. Therefore it is best to find another solution to calm them. It doesn’t help to nag your child as they may either become defiant or anxious when they can’t suck their thumb. If you are unsure what methods are most suitable for your child or are unsure whether thumb sucking has already developed bad form in your child’s mouth and may potentially need braces to straighten teeth, then contact the team at Norwest Orthodontics on 9672 6113.

How to stop your child from thumb sucking

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