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Products to Help your Child Stop Thumb Sucking

When your child continues sucking their thumb past a certain age, it can cause negative physical, emotional, and social consequences. You may think that the habit is harmless, but it quickly becomes something that produces negative results in their life.

Thumb sucking begins as a way for the child to cope with their emotions but can become something that holds them back. Children suck their thumbs to comfort themselves when they’re sad, stressed, or bored, but they need to learn other ways to deal with these emotions. Below are some results of thumb sucking and products that can help them stop.

Negative Results of Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking produces negative physical, social, and emotional results. The first consequences that you will notice are the physical ones. Prolonged thumb sucking causes teeth malocclusion, which is when the teeth are misdirected. Resulting in either an open bite or an overbite, the teeth may not touch even when the mouth is closed. An overbite is when the top row are misaligned and an open bite is when both teeth are directed outwards according to this dentist who does root canal in Farmington MO.

Other physical consequences are speech issues and skin irritations. The moisture from the mouth may lead to rashes, cracking, and bleeding. Thumb sucking may warp the nail and cause ingrowth or peeling. Not only will it cause irritation, but the skin can also become calloused and vulnerable to infection. Finally, speech issues may result from thumb sucking. The child can develop a lisp or have trouble saying certain sounds, which may also result in negative social issues.

Children can be cruel. Your child’s peers may ridicule and make fun of them. When your child has a hard time communicating and expressing themselves, they may lean into the habit of thumb sucking to retreat from social situations. Since thumb sucking is a coping mechanism, it will impact their social skills and emotional coping.

Finally, the emotional issues that can result from thumb sucking are varied. Thumb sucking is a way for children to deal with their feelings and the world around them. If they don’t stop thumb sucking, they’ll have trouble developing coping mechanisms that are necessary for the future and handling their emotions.

How to stop baby thumb sucking

First, a great product to get them to stop is the TGuard AeroThumb. This plastic guard wraps around the wrist and covers the thumb so that the child won’t be able to suck on the thumb. They can try to suck the plastic, but it won’t be as satisfying as sucking on the thumb itself. Another product like this is the thumbsie, which is the cloth equivalent. While your child will be able to suck on these products, it will discourage them from doing so because it won’t provide comfort in the way they are looking to be comforted.

Furthermore, there is even special nail polish used to discourage the child from sucking their thumbs. This polish has a bitter flavor that children hate. When they go to suck their thumbs or fingers, they will taste the polish and be grossed out by it. Needless to say they won’t want to suck their thumbs with this polish on their nails.

If these products don’t work, you can even purchase a hand stopper that wraps around the elbow and prohibits them from bringing their thumb up to their mouth. It may seem like an extreme measure, but if your child won’t stop sucking their thumbs no matter what you do it may be necessary. With a wide variety of products at your disposal, it’s necessary for you to utilize them to help your child stop thumb sucking.

When you have tried everything you can to stop your child’s bad habit of thumb sucking and can’t get them to, you should think about taking them to a child psychologist who can determine if the habit has to do with their development. Thumb sucking can be a sign or a symptom of slow development. Not only will they provide an evaluation, the professional can give you some further tips to put an end to the habit. You might think it’s harmless, but thumb sucking has to stop at a certain point.