Thumb sucking is a common problem in children, which is one of the many things parents fret about the most. While engaging in the habit occasionally is typically considered to cause no harm but there are times when the habit can turn into a problem.

In the majority of cases, children stop engaging in the habit by the time they are somewhere around two to four years old.  A child older than four who doesn’t discontinue the habit will require parental support and dental advice to control the situation. Did you know that prolonged thumb sucking can actually make a child have crooked permanent teeth? Therefore, consulting your pediatrician or dentist is important. Remember, dental issues are mostly avoided if thumb sucking is stopped before the eruption of permanent teeth.

What Can Be Done

Parents of children having this habit should begin with ignoring the behavior, which means that you shouldn’t pay any attention to your child while he’s busy in thumb sucking. Another way of dealing with the problem is putting an obstacle on the child’s hands. A sock or a glove could serve the purpose. Parents can motivate their children to quit on the habit by rewarding them for positive behavior.

Talking to the pediatrician or dentist is also very important in terms of getting useful advice and learning effective methods to help your child cope with the habit.

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