Thumb sucking is a natural behaviour that many kids exhibit from a young age, since sucking their thumb or putting objects in their mouth is a natural way of helping children feel happier and more secure. But like anything, sucking your thumb beyond a certain age can become a bad habit. If it persists beyond the age of 4, it can have serious repercussions on their tooth alignment and healthy growth of their mouth. We know it’s tricky to undo a habit, but hopefully with a few of the following tips, you can get your child on the right track to healthy development.

 

Comfort your child

In most cases, children tend to suck their thumbs as a means to comfort themselves when they are feeling insecure. Instead of simply telling your children to stop sucking their thumb, focus on helping them ease their anxiety. Replacing their source of comfort should naturally help them refrain from sucking their thumb.

 

Use pediatric aids to help

Since thumb sucking is a habit, it can be easy for your child to forget to stop or even be unaware they are doing it. In order to remind your child not to suck their thumb, it might be helpful to give them physical reminders. You could use a sock to put on their hand at night, or even visit pediatric care to get a mouth appliance to help.

 

Reward your child for good behaviour

If a child is behaving in a way you don’t want to them to, it’s really important that when they display favourable behaviour that they know about it. Whenever your child is not sucking their thumb, reward them with praise and words of affirmation. This should help reinforce this new behaviour and eventually eradicate thumb sucking.