adorable little boy thumb sucking

Sucking on a thumb or pacifier is a natural reflex for babies and toddlers. After a certain age, however, a thumb sucking or pacifier habit can become harmful. It may affect the way permanent teeth grow in and even lead to changes in the shape of the child’s jaw. Most children will stop these habits on their own by about four years of age, but if the habit persists much longer, they may need some help and encouragement. A pacifier habit can often end by merely taking away the pacifier or even gradually reducing how often it is used until it is eventually taken away completely. Cessation of a thumb-sucking habit is usually harder due to the continuous availability of the thumbs! A popular remedy is to paint the child’s thumbs with a foul-tasting topical solution. Some other solutions can be to praise the child for making strides in reducing their habit. Another frequently successful method is to cover their hands with socks to prevent thumb sucking while they sleep. You may also try swapping a child’s thumb for a different comfort item such as a favorite stuffed animal or keep them busy with a task or activity.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s thumb-sucking habit feel free to contact us!



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