To thumbsuck, or not to thumbsuck that is the question. For babies and toddlers thumbsucking is a perfectly normal, self-soothing activity. However, prolonged thumbsucking can negatively affect your child’s bite and tooth alignment. Worried parents are often unsure of how to ease their child out of this phase, and the good news is: it doesn’t have to be hard!
At the age of four, children are normally finished thumbsucking because they’ve found new ways to cope with being uncomfortable. If you’re worried that this will affect your child’s budding teeth, here are some easy ways to curb those habits:
- Remember that this is a self-soothing activity; never prohibit your child from sucking their thumb.
- Help them find another tool to deal with worry, like a stuffed animal or blanket.
- When they’re sucking their thumbs encourage them to be self-aware. Ask them if they know they’re doing it, and encourage them to hug their new tool instead.
- When they’re not sucking their thumb, praise them for being a big boy or girl. Tell them how proud you are.
These are just a few ways to ease your child out of their thumbsucking. If you’re very concerned, don’t hesitate to call your pediatric dentist in Maitland. We’ll be happy to discuss and ease your worries. After all, how many high school seniors do you see sucking their thumbs?