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Thumb Sucking habit in children

Thumb Sucking habit in children

Thumb Sucking habit in children

-Usually thumb suking is harmless in small children.
-It gives them care, comfort, safety and security.
-It may also be a stress response and a gesture to get parental attention.
-Thumb sucking is usually common till 4 to 6 years of age.
It is considered a problem if this habit persists beyond 6 years.

Thumbsucking consequences:
-If thumb sucking persists after the primary (baby) teeth have erupted, it can drastically change the growth patterns of the jaw, and cause significant misalignment of the teeth.

-Frequent thumb sucking can damage the nail and the child might swallow it.

-Rarely it can affect the growth of the thumb and alter its shape.

-Sometimes these kids become isolated as other kids doesn’t like playing with them.

What should you do?

-Thumb sucking requires no treatment if the child does this very rarely or only at night or as a stress response.

Try to understand if there is any kind of stress or anxienty bothering your child. Make him/her understand the consequences of thumb sucking.

-Plastic thumb guard and fabric thumb guard are available in the market.

-Sometimes a bitter tasting edible thing can be applied too.

-Very rarely if this habit becomes very compulsive, you might have to go to a dentist to fit an intra oral device to treat this.

-All of these will work only when supplemented with parent’s love, care, support and understanding.


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