A 53-year-old member asked:
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how do you stop a child from sucking there thumb?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Marcus Degraw
21 years experience Pediatrics
Persistence: The first steps is parents wanting to stop the problem. Then be persistent towards stopping the problem. Early intervention is key and i recommend trying to stop the pattern as early as 1st birthday. There are products such as thum or movala stop that can be painted on fingers that taste bad and stop the habit. There are thumb guards that can be worn. Your doc and dentist can help with this.
Answered on Mar 6, 2012
1
1 comment
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Specializes in Pediatrics
I generally recommend saving money for braces...if your child does not need them, take a vacation. Most children stop on their own between 5 and 9 years old.If there is too much attention paid to the habit, that can actually reinforce it. Many thumb suckers actually were sucking their thumbs in utero. I find it a hard habit to stop. I agree with Dr. McGraws ideas as well.
Dec 30, 2011
Dr. Bryan Levey
26 years experience Pediatrics
Depends on age: In a baby, you don't stop it. If they need to suck, they will. It soothes and does no harm. In a toddler you can use positive reenforcement. Never scold or shame. The stuff that you paint on the thumb does not work unless it is combined with positive reenforcement. In babies and toddlers, sucking is unlikely to effect the teeth; however, as they hit the age of about 6years, it might.
Answered on Jun 3, 2014

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