For some of us as parents and children, we know how difficult it is to stop ‘the habit’ i.e. thumb-sucking! It is probably one of the most common habits, and for the majority of us, we often stop in our early years. However, it is a hard habit to break and there are several ways and bribes that we have all given to our children.
If your child is still sucking their thumb once the permanent teeth have erupted, it can start to cause effects on the teeth. If the thumb is placed in the mouth for prolonged periods of time, the thumb itself is acting as a brace – pushing the upper front teeth forwards and the lower front teeth back.
You can buy thumb sucking devices from the amazon Canada website if you want to stop thumb or finger sucking.
As the thumb is resting in-between the upper and lower teeth, it can also prevent the normal eruption of the anterior teeth, causing an open bite and the front teeth do not meet. If the habit is stopped early, the teeth can start to return to their normal positions as children are going through their growth and development.
As parents, we often start with rewards or little bribes to our children, but as we know this doesn’t always work. Often, the thumb is sucked for comfort, and anything to ‘break’ the comfort will aid in stopping the habit. We first have to start with the child – if he or she is determined to stop the habit, it will happen, but having a habit breaker will aid in the cessation of the habit.
All habit breakers work by acting as a reminder – letting your child know that ‘the thumb is in the mouth and to take it out’. There are varnishes which you can paint onto the nails which taste foul! If the thumb is sucked going off to sleep, we can consider wrapping the thumb in a bandage or using a sock as a glove – which again is not very comforting if trying to suck your thumb