Problems Associated with Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking is normal in babies and young children. It is a natural instinct for babies to suck on their thumb during their first couple months of life. It has also been shown that babies suck on their hands, fingers or even the pacifier.

Babies seem to have this natural instinct to suck, yet it usually will decrease after the age of 6 months. However, many babies will continue to suck their thumbs to soothe themselves. Eventually it can become a habit in babies and young children who use it to comfort themselves when they feel hungry, restless, sleepy, afraid, or even bored. Most infants suck their thumbs, but most children stop on their own between ages of 3 and 6.

Thumb sucking may cause a child to develop dental problems if thumb sucking continues for too long. Thumb sucking has been known to cause children's teeth to become improperly aligned or even to have the teeth pushed outward. The longer thumb sucking continues, it is more likely that orthodontic treatment will need to take place in order to correct any resulting dental problems. A child can also face developing speech problems, including mispronouncing their T's and D's, lisping and even thrusting out their tongue when talking.

Thumb sucking definitely becomes a problem for children after the age of 5. Children who suck their thumb frequently or with great intensity after the age of 5 are at a greater risk for dental or speech problems. There are rare cases when a child after the age of 5 is still thumb sucking and in response to that, it leads to emotional problems such as anxiety.

Many experts have said to ignore thumb sucking in a child who is of preschool age or younger. Most children do stop sucking on their own. However, children who suck their thumb may need treatment when they are pulling on their hair between 12-24 months of age, continue sucking a thumb often after age 5 or even if they develop speech or dental problems.

Usually treatment can be done at home and it can include parents setting rules to help provide distractions. It can help if you limit your child's thumb sucking by allowing them to suck on their thumb and put away blankets or other items that your child associates with thumb sucking. Even offering praise and rewards to your child for not sucking their thumb may also help break the habit.

One of the most efficient ways to help with thumb sucking is Mavala Stop. This product has a bitter taste that will take away the desire to continue the habit. You apply a coat over the entire thumb of your child and allow it to dry. You repeat the application every two days and continue until the habits have stopped. This is a way of making sure the habit stops before it's too late. It has even been recommended by dentists to ensure that it will help so the child's teeth do not move because of the thumb sucking. This product is highly recommended and will not disappoint you. Many people have used Mavala Stop and said that it truly helps their child to stop sucking their thumb.

As a parent, you can talk to your child about the effects that come along with sucking their thumb and even develop a reward system. For example, you can put up stickers on a calendar or even record a day that your child does not suck on his or her thumb. After so many days, have a celebration for your child. Thumb sucking can always result into much bigger problems if it isn't fixed before your child gets too old. There are many problems associated with too much thumb sucking as a child and there are many ways to prevent it as mentioned above. Next time you see your child sucking their thumb, try Mavala Stop to help prevent further damage that could affect your child from sucking their thumb.

Bio: Written by Brittney Hatch, a product specialist for WhatSheBuys. WhatSheBuys is a 5 star rated Yahoo merchant with an AAA rating from the Better Business Bureau. WhatSheBuys carries world class brands for women, men and children including Mavala of Switzerland's Mavala Stop.

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Article Written - June 16, 2009.