How do I get my son to stop picking at his gums?

Shanna - posted on 09/30/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 3 year old son has been picking at his gums for about 2 years. He has created ulcers on them. The doctor says it falls in the same category as thumbsucking or fingernail biting. I need some suggestions on how to make him stop. He usually does it when I'm driving, or right before he goes to sleep.

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Lucia - posted on 09/30/2009

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Hi, How about giving him a toy or books 2 look @ or mack a game like i spy with my little eys. what ever u see on the road and get him 2 point @ it. I know it will be hard if u driving 2 see him point. but that on way 2 keep his mouth. becuse he is looking out the window. snacks are good in the car. music is good 2 u can tell him 2 clap 2 the music and he will love that. we have music in our car all the time and they like 2 clap hands during music time or play games in the car they are fun. any help mesage me and tell me if dose ideals help.

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Jo - posted on 03/04/2013

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I can't believe i have just seen this!! My 3yr old son does exactly the same! Mostly when he is tired. I haven't been able to stop him. Its been a few years since this post. Have you managed to stop him? My sons gums are really receded and covered in ulcers. It's so distressing!

Deborah - posted on 10/01/2009

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My 3-year -old has a similar habit of picking at his lips. They get very chapped and bleed due to this habit. He seems unaware that he is doing it and even does it while sleeping. We, too, have not found any way to break the habit. There is no pattern to when he does it, but we see it more in new situations or around unfamiliar people. You are not alone in your quest to find an alternative, age-appropriate habit.

Tiffany - posted on 09/30/2009

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Oh wow umm i have never heard anythink like this before. My suggestion would be.. since it seems like its a comfort thing for him, try to get him to pick up a different,better, comfort habbit. Like give him a shirt or washcloth and let him play with the tag on it. lots of kids like this.Or since you said it mostly happens in the car try giving him his sippy cup in the car.. sorry i cant be of better help. Good luck =)

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