A 28-year-old female asked:
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what can i do to get my 6 year old son to stop sucking his thumb? hes starting to mess up his teeth.

12 doctor answers
Dr. Brett Noorda
25 years experience Dentistry
See an orthodontist: There's always the stick-his-thumb-in-something-gross-tasting method, like tabasco or whatever. That requires constant supervision and determination. Or you can visit an orthodontist and they can help determine if some sort of oral appliance may help. Good luck.
Answered on Sep 12, 2013
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Dr. R Lee Hinson
38 years experience Dentistry
Find an oralfacial myologist in your area. Very well trained in techniques to remedy this issue and other related problems
Jul 5, 2013
Dr. Thomas Yash
Dr. Thomas Yash commented
46 years experience Dentistry
An appliance attached to back teeth could help stop the habit and some arch expansion. Should have been done earlier. See orthodontist.
Jun 28, 2013
Dr. William Dapper
36 years experience Dentistry
Pedodontists also are well trained to evaluate diagnose and treat these issues. Time is of the essence. Address the issue ASAP
Jun 26, 2013
Dr. Gary Chapman
35 years experience Orthodontics
Needs to stop: Thumb sucking, as you are now aware influences teeth positions. I assume you have explored the "home remedies" of sock over hand, tabasco sauce, threats of death (kidding), and rewards. Your dental professional may elect to fabricate a thumb appliance which breaks the seal between the roof the mouth and thumb so that is not satisfying anymore. Good luck with a tough problem.
Answered on Jun 25, 2013
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Dr. Michael Tufton
8 years experience Dentistry
Thumb appliance: Once the 6 year old molars are erupted you can place a retainer that will prevent your child from sucking his thumb. It is called a fixed palatal retainer. This is normally a very effective way to prevent this habit and the effect thumb sucking has on the teeth positions. I would recommend this since continuing this habit after the ages of 4-5 can cause improper growth and position of teeth.
Answered on Jan 1, 2017
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Dr. Randy Nolf
42 years experience Periodontics
Thumb crib: An orthodontist can attach a device called a thumb crib which is a strong reminder to help break the habit. If a child is determined to break the habit this appliance is a big help. It looks outlandish but is tolerated very well and most importantly interrupts the pattern.
Answered on Nov 25, 2014
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Dr. Arman Roksar
25 years experience Prosthodontics
Tumb guard: Buy a tumb guard that he is unable to remove. He only wears it at home and not in school.
Answered on Aug 4, 2013
Dr. Kayvon Javid
20 years experience Dentistry
See an orthodontist: There are ways to get him to stop by using special appliances. You need to see a dentist or an orthodontist for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Answered on Dec 9, 2013
Dr. Kenneth Van Stralen
37 years experience Dentistry
Bluegrass appliance : A bluegrass appliance can help. It consists of bands on the upper molars that support a wire containing a cylinder that spins. The patient cannot get a purchase on his palate and often will stop thrusting. Another approach is to teach the patient to "suck" the tongue off the roof of his mouth. It makes a clicking sound that might drive you mad but it works. See your dentist.
Answered on May 18, 2014
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Dr. David Mjos
44 years experience Dentistry
Need to stop: It can be difficult to get them to stop. 1. Bad tasting stuff on thumb, usually they just suck it off. 2. Tape a mitten or sock over their hands. 3. If they absolutely will not stop, i build a crib that attaches to perm molars so they can't get their thumb in their mouth. 4. Last resort, add a sharp prong in the crib so it pokes their thumb. This almost always works, but is the most harsh treat.
Answered on Aug 29, 2013
Dr. Howard Schneider
34 years experience Pediatric Dentistry
Hard habit to stop: Most six years olds who have sucking habits only do it when they are tired ad/or at night, not when they are with their friends. If child wants to stop but is having a hard time trying putting a sock over his hand with a little masking tape around the wrist, so it will not easily fall off (not to tight) at bed time. The sock will get in the way and discourage sucking.
Answered on Sep 7, 2013
Dr. Denny Cho
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It is recommended to: Reward the patient for not putting the thumb into the mouth. Try and distract the child just before you see him/her try and go place the thuimb into the mouth. Otherwise, the child will develop sleep apnea later in life.
Answered on Oct 31, 2013
Dr. Shah Chowdhury
42 years experience Pediatrics
Thumb Sucking: Can be seen as a way of securing extra self-nurturance like other rhythmic pattern of behavior. Ignore it, if possible, while giving attention to positive aspect of the child's behavior with praise. Talk gently with him, energize his self esteem. When he actively tries to restrain thumb sucking, encourage him. Thumb sucking affect alignment of the teeth.
Answered on Dec 9, 2013
Dr. George Ayoub
18 years experience Cosmetic Dentistry
Check with a dentist: Your dentist can make you an appliance that will help check with your dentist.
Answered on Sep 26, 2013

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Difficult problem: When a toddler has a consistent self soothing activity such as thumb sucking it is difficult to change.Sometimes finding a stuffed animal , blanket, o ... Read More
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Braces: Although not popular you can have something glued on the back of the teeth called thumb tamers. They look like spikes but are not that sharp. They won ... Read More
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