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How to Help Your Child Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit

April 15, 2021

Although thumb sucking can be a usual part of a child’s development, kids have to wean themselves by the time they turn three. Otherwise, this habit can lead to issues that may lead to malocclusion, changes to facial and jaw development, speech impediments, and more. Thankfully, your pediatric dentist in Coconut Grove can provide your child with gentle preventative services that are specifically designed to keep their growing smiles as healthy as can be.

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What You Can Do to Help Your Child Stop Thumb Sucking

Identify When and Why Your Child Developed This Habit

Identifying when and why your child developed the habit of thumb sucking requires you to keep your eyes peeled for activities and events as they unfold. While you’re at it, be sure to record these times and take note of your child’s emotions that trigger this behavior.

Identify Triggers and Payoffs

For example, when you notice your child consistently sucking their thumb every time they watch their favorite TV show, you can draw up a conclusion that they do it when they’re idle.

Come Up With a Substitute

Once you’ve identified the triggers, the next step is to come up with a substitute that can help them replace the habit. For example, if your child sucks their thumb while watching TV, try to offer them a healthy snack that can keep their hands and mouths busy. On the other hand, if what triggers the habit is pain, give them a toy to serve as a distraction.

Create a Reward Chart

You can encourage your child to keep their thumb away from their mouth by congratulating them and by giving rewards.

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Talk to a Pediatric Dentist in Coconut Grove!

At Premier Pediatric Dentistry, you can expect us to care for your child like they are our own. Contact us today to schedule your little one’s appointment.

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