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How to Break Your Child’s Thumb-Sucking Habit (And Why You Should)

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Adorable as it may be to see a baby or toddler sucking their thumb, it’s a habit that you’ll want your child to break as they get older. Some of the issues that could arise with prolonged finger sucking include changes in the mouth or facial structure, a narrow top jaw, or the development of a crossbite and increased overjet. In other words, it can affect the growth of their mouth, jaw and teeth which could lead to lifelong issues.

A lot of children will outgrow this habit on their own by ages 2-4, but for those who haven’t, there are steps you can take to help them break it. If you have an infant and have noticed a habit of finger sucking starting to form, you can encourage the use of a pacifier instead. A pacifier is easier to take away as children grow older. For older and for verbal children, you can talk to him or her about stopping the habit. It is important to set attainable goals with your child and remember that it is a process and probably won’t stop overnight.

Ideas for breaking the habit:

As parents we all want the best for our kids, and oftentimes we worry about their habits and behaviors, concerned with how it will affect them in their future. Thumb sucking is a bad habit that could have hinder your child’s development but Dr. Camps Pediatric Dental Center is here to help. If you’ve noticed your child has a habit of finger sucking try these ideas with your child. Call us with any questions you may have; we are here to support you as you and your child work to break the habit!

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