I am having no luck getting my 5 and a half year old over sucking his thumb. He does it ALL the time. I was hoping that Kindergarten would cure him, but it doesn't and he doesn't care what other people think. I've tried reminding him, rewarding him, putting nasty tasting stuff on his thumb....nothing. I'm totally open to suggestions, HELP!

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Cassie - posted on 01/30/2009

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I was told that sucking the thumb is NOT the case of bad teeth.  I just don't believe that at all.

Anyway I do believe that the child will stop when he or she is ready.  If you force them to stop, you will ruin his or her security and probably rebel....

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Amy - posted on 02/02/2009

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My son was a thumb sucker even before he was born, I have the sonogram pic to prove it. But anyway, the summer before he began Kindergarten I decided it was time to prevent the thumb sucking. There is this product that you can purchase over by the nail polish in any store. It is for people that bite their nails. I would place a little on the thumb that he would suck and after only a few days he was no longer sucking his thumb.

Julie - posted on 02/02/2009

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dont worry he will grow out of it  my daughter  sucked her thumb until she was 7  then other children  began to comment and it all stopped

Julie - posted on 02/02/2009

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dont worry he will grow out of it  my daughter  sucked her thumb until she was 7  then other children  began to comment and it all stopped

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Ok so im probably gonna totally embarass myslef here but here goes. I was a thumb sucker as a child and must admit that i still do in my sleep or when sick at home alone. I did suck my  thumb in public till gr 7, I finally stopped cuz  i figured no boys would like me. As a youger child my parents tried everything, hot sauce, the no bite stuff for your nails, pepper, gloves finger splints you name it they tried it. The hot sauce ect i would just suck off and the gloves i would suck through, the finger splints i remember mom givign me trouble when she woke me up cuz i had taken them off in my sleep. nothing helped adn at that point there was no dental things to help. As i said in gr 7 i decided i HAD to stop but it was hard i coudl do it at school but at home was harder, I was one that ended up replacing my thumb with cigarettes (in gr8) and food. I'm now 30 and the only thing i find that helps is i got my tounge pierced a few yrs ago and it dosent feel right with the ball in there, so mabye dental appliances will help. I feel that it's totally a security thing and some kids just need it for longer when he is ready he'll give it up. I found for me that ppl pushing me to stop just made me want it more cuz it was what made me feel safe and comfortable.

Denise - posted on 02/01/2009

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I had the same problem with my daughter. Except she had to stop she had no choice. We took her to the dentist and she had to have a seperator put in because she had pushed her front teeth out. and then had to have a tounge gate put in after that to stop her her from thumb sucking and stop pushing her tounge through to her front teeth. All this happend when she was 5 and 6 years old.she still has the gate. with all that work being done, she did not like the way her thum felt so I told her she had to stop.

User - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Cassie:



I was told that sucking the thumb is NOT the case of bad teeth.  I just don't believe that at all.

Anyway I do believe that the child will stop when he or she is ready.  If you force them to stop, you will ruin his or her security and probably rebel....






It doesn't cuse BAD teeth, it causes problems with the appearance of teeth.  In very young children, up to the age of 4 or so, the habit does not do real damage, beyond that the damage will be at risk of becoming permanent.  Severe overbite/overjet, openbite, splayed out teeth, misalignment, etc. Again, the damage is not to the teeth themselves, it is to the BONE supporting them!

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OK I must be the odd woman out. I feel that its a total security thing for child weather its a thumb, pacifier ( Or Fubbie as we call them) or a blanket or stuffed animal, WHY is it so important to take the one thing away from a child that is theirs and only theirs and when they control to use it?
I have 2 boys that both sucked pacifiers and I never ONCE took it from them or told them they had to give it up. Now I had Pediatricians tell me it was time, and that's they opinion. But they are MY children and when they were ready I knew they would give them up. I mean come on. I was certain they would not have one in their mouth on their wedding day.

I think if it makes them feel secure then whats the problem? is it hurting them? YOU? others? the answer is NO. and if your worried about their teeth don't be. I had bad teeth my Dh had bad teeth and chances are so will my boys. Thats what braces are for.

I think society has dictated long enough when OUR kids should do this or that.
I say leave your child alone and they will stop when they are ready.
I feel by you telling them to stop your telling them that what comforts them is a bad thing and I feel that is worse that the thumb sucking

User - posted on 01/29/2009

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I agree with Rachel.  I am also a dental assistant for 17 years now, and the sooner you get him to a dentist to get the "crib" made the better.  If you leave it for much longer it will no longer be simply a tooth problem where the teeth splay outwards, it will also become a skeletal problem which will require more than orthodontics to fix when he is older.  Those can require major jaw surgery.  I have seen this far too often, and it really is a lot of pain for the poor kid, when they could have simply had the anti-thumb appliance made to begin with.

Rachel - posted on 01/29/2009

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I was in 2nd grade and I distinctly remember the day I looked around and saw I was the only one with my thumb in my mouth. That was it for me. I stopped then and there. Perfect teeth, never had braces, in fact it may have spaced out my upper teeth so that I didn't have crowding.

Any humiliation you put on her probably will not make him stop, just put a divide between you and him. Is there an associated item like a blanket that can be taken away? is there a behavior he can substitute? Other than nail chewing or something negative? You can't chew gum and suck at the same time, how do you feel about him chewing gum?

My 5 3/4 y.o. dtr knows it's not socially OK and tries to hide it, so she knows she'll have to stop eventually. I dread what she will replace it with. She's not really into putting other things in her mouth.

overall, I'd say let it ride. No bride ever stood under the chuppah with her thumb in her mouth.

Robin - posted on 01/29/2009

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I am so having the same problem with my soon to be 5 yr. old daughter.  She doesn't suck her thumb at school but as soon as she gets home in her mouth it goes.  Drives me crazy.  Her dentist is worried about it but her doctor said that she'll outgrow it. 

[deleted account]

Last Summer I took me daughter for her first dentist app and he told her she has to stop sucking her thumb! And she also has to give up her blanky too! Well, the next day she stopped sucking her thumb! AND the day after that she gave me her blanket! I do still catch her sucking her thumb when she is sleeping! I don't think that is a huge deal! It's only when she is sleeping nad how can you really stop her!I do see a big improvement in her teeth since she has stopped!! My suggestion is to take your child to the dentist and get him to tell him to stop sucking his thumb! They are most likely to listen to another person other than their parents!!! Just my suggestion!!

Tiffany - posted on 01/29/2009

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I have the same issue with my 6 1/2 year old son. He does not suck it at school just at night when watching TV or relaxing. Two weeks age we made a deal that if we bought a guinea pig he would quit with his thumb and so far it has worked. We catch him maybe once a day and remind him but that is all. I think they just need to be ready and we need to be patient which is not all that easy.

Gretchen - posted on 01/28/2009

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at almost 4 years of age when i took my daughter for her first dentist appt. the hygenist suggested giving her a pacifier instead. that had to be the stupidest thing i heard that day. but seriously they will stop when they want to stop. my daughter is 6 and in grade 1 now and has only recently reduced the amount of time the thumb is in her mouth.

Laurie - posted on 01/28/2009

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My 19 1/2 year old daughter sucked her thumb growing up. She shut her thumb in a car door and that stopped her from sucking it for a bit. But I find she still sucks it, even now, in private to soothe herself. Her teeth are beautiful, no overbite, and never had braces. It's something they deal with as they feel the need, or grow out of really.

User - posted on 01/28/2009

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what if your dentist doesn't feel it is appropriate yet to go that route? I am having the same problem with my five year old daughter. She now loves hot sauce and onions and the stuff you buy in the store she just goes in and washes her hands or sucks until she can suck it all off.

Rachel - posted on 01/28/2009

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Check with your dentist.  Every situation is different.



I am a dental assistant and we have made a spacer that is placed around his teeth that actually covers the top of his mouth.  There is no suction when the roof of your mouth is covered. 

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