Fun thumb & finger guards to help stop thumb sucking

Thumb Sucking

Like many parents, you may be concerned that your child sucks their thumb. You may have been told by the dentist or a friend that if they continue to suck their thumb, it may be harmful to their teeth.

Why do children thumb suck?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for children, many started in their mothers womb. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects may make babies and toddlers feel secure and happy and help them learn about their world.

Young children may also suck to soothe themselves and help them fall asleep. Many children stop thumb sucking on their own. Some find it difficult and some even continue into to adulthood.

Thumb and digit sucking has a huge emotional attachment in young children and so it can be a very difficult habit to break.

However prolonged digit sucking can cause long term effects. We chatted with three dentists to gain their views on the effects of thumb sucking on teeth.

Does thumb sucking effect children’s teeth?

Lina Kotecha from Glen Dental, Leicester explained “after permanent teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth, which in turn affect speech and the bite of the teeth”

Donna, Practice Manager of iQ orthodontics agreed by adding “Prolonged digit sucking changes the growth of the face, it can cause the collapse of the upper jaw and prevent the teeth from biting together at the front, this can then lead to bite problems and most commonly the upper front teeth being prominent”

Andrew MacGregor from Park Orthodontics in Glasgow goes on to say “The longer the thumb and/or finger sucking continues, the more difficult these features are to correct and often teeth remain poorly aligned for the rest of their lives.”

Pacifiers can affect the teeth essentially the same ways as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it is often an easier habit to break.

According to Lina the intensity of the sucking is a factor that determines whether or not dental problems may result. If children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, they are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. Some aggressive thumb suckers may develop problems with their baby (primary) teeth as well as their permanent teeth. It is more difficult to correct malocclusion caused by thumb sucking.

MacGregor explains “As the adult teeth come through in a thumb sucker they become more prominent or ‘goofy’ and the bite becomes misaligned: so called cross bites and open bites”

What Should I Do To Help My Child Stop Thumb sucking?

It’s a good idea to praise your child for not thumb sucking rather than telling off or raising your voice – they may not even know that they are doing it.

Try to find the cause and why they thumb suck. They may be feeling insecure or anxious and in need of comfort, talk to your child. Take notice of when they are sucking and try to give them something to do or distract them

Visit your dentist and ask them to explain what might happen to their teeth if they carry on thumb sucking and they can offer encouragement to your child.

Offer them help and find a solution that works for you.

All three of our dentists recommend buying a Thumbsie® thumb or finger guard. These are made of a fun fabric that fit over the digits that they suck and secured around the wrist with Velcro. They are such a positive way of stopping sucking.

How can Thumbsie® help?

Stopping thumb sucking is a difficult task for all kids. The Thumbsie® provides a fun way for the parent to help the child stop sucking. The Thumbsie® is a great way to help with habit cessation with its funky fun designs that allow children to choose and have ownership of it.

Thumbsie® is available in thumb and finger guards and in 5 different sizes. The Thumbsie® should be worn day and night until the habit is broken. There have been lots of happy parents and you can hear what they have said about their experience and success. Thumbsie® even offer a reward chart to help parents encourage their child and make the whole experience a fun and positive one, as giving up any habit is hard let alone one that most have had since they were born.

For more specific questions on any of our products, you might like to visit our FAQ page. It might also be worth you reading does wearing a Thumbsie really work as well as our Thumbsie® reviews.

In my experience, there are particular aspects of this habit that people want to discuss and understand more fully.

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