How to Get Your Kids to Stop Thumb Sucking


Thumb sucking is a bad habit. It may seem innocuous at first, but if the child keeps it up they won’t be able to develop sound coping habits and work through their problems. Not only does thumb sucking affect a child’s emotional health, it also has negative physical and social consequences. There are many reasons that thumb sucking is bad, but there are luckily many ways to get them to stop the bad habit.

Read below to find about the results of thumb sucking and how to mitigate it.

The Negative Results of Thumb Sucking

The first noticeable results of thumb sucking are the physical consequences. The habit causes malocclusion, which is when the teeth are directed outwards. This occurs when the top row or both rows of the teeth don’t touch when the mouth is closed—an open bite is when both rows are directed outwards and an overbite is when the top row is misaligned.

Beyond malocclusion, thumb sucking can cause skin issues.

Moisture from the mouth causes irritation, skin peeling, callousing, bleeding, and ingrown nails. Thumb sucking makes it vulnerable to infections. Finally, another physical result of thumb sucking is a speech impediment. Since the habit impacts the jaw, teeth, and palate, it can negatively affect their speech. Not only will thumb sucking lead to lisps, it can make it difficult for them to pronounce certain sounds.

Difficulty expressing themselves and communicating may also result in social issues.

Thumb sucking is the subject of ridicule and teasing. The child might find it difficult to relate to their peers or make new friends. Instead of dealing with uncomfortable situations, they will lean into the habit of thumb sucking. Social issues will arise from this bad habit if they continue.

Furthermore, emotional issues can result from thumb sucking. The habit starts as a way for a young child to cope with their emotions. When the child continues to suck their thumbs, they won’t develop new ways to get through life and deal with the world. This is the most significant reason to get your child to stop their habit of thumb sucking. It can lead to other negative habits in the future.

How to Stop the Habit

First, in order to get your child to stop sucking their thumbs you should explain the negative consequences to them.

If they don’t stop, there are a variety of products you can use to prohibit them from sucking their thumbs. One way to help them is to use mavala stop nail polish. This polish tastes bitter and children hate bitterness because their palate isn’t fully developed. When they go to suck their thumbs, it will taste bad and discourage them to continue.

Another method to get them to stop is to use thumb guards, which wraps around the wrist and covers the thumb with plastic.

It prohibits the child from sucking their thumb in the way that satisfies them and will discourage the habit. There is also the cloth version of the product called a thumbsie. While it might not stop them from sucking on it, it won’t be as comforting as sucking the bare thumb.

You can even buy a nipit hand stopper that wraps around the wrist, making it impossible for the child to bring up the thumb to their mouth. While this may feel extreme, it can be necessary to use the product to stop it if they won’t with a guard or nail polish.

Finally, if you have talked to your child and have tried these methods to get them to stop the habit, you can always take them to a professional psychologist. A child psychologist will be able to tell if your child is developing slowly or if it is a symptom of another problem. Whatever you need to do, it is necessary to get them to stop the habit as soon as possible.

While thumb sucking may seem innocent, it can harm your child’s development.

It causes social and emotional problems and can have negative physical repercussions. When your child can’t stop thumb sucking, it is absolutely imperative to help them put an end to the bad habit. There are many ways to mitigate it, you should utilize whatever you need to in order to help your child put an end to thumb sucking.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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