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About Child’s Thumb Sucking

>> Dec 14, 2010

Thumb sucking can comfort your child; but it also may cause teeth problem. If your toddler is still sucking thumb, perhaps you’re wondering when you should stop it.

I remember that when I was a toddler, I was also sucking my thumb. I stopped this habit by myself after I saw a doctor on television mentioned the bad effect of thumb sucking. Hehehe, my parents don’t need to bother at all…

Why children suck their thumbs? There are different reasons. For infants, it is a normal reflex that often starts in the Mom’s womb. As babies grow up, they discover a lot about their bodies and the world around them through sucking. They suck on their fingers, clothing, and toys. From this action they learn what is enjoyable and what is uncomfortable.

Many young children also use sucking to calm and comfort themselves. Since the action is relaxing, it often makes sleep. Perhaps you’ve noticed that your child will suck his/her thumb when he/she is tired. Actually, many thumb suckers fall asleep more effortlessly and sleep through the night much earlier than other children who don’t suck their thumbs.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), after a child's permanent teeth come in, thumb sucking can cause problems. It can interfere with proper mouth growth, teeth alignment, and cause changes to the roof of the mouth.

It doesn’t mean that every thumb sucking child will get dental problem; it depends on how the intensity with which she sucks. A child who just rests her thumb in her mouth or passively sucks on it is less likely to develop problems than a child who sucks her thumb in intense.

When parents should stop thumb sucking?You should interfere by the time the permanent front teeth start coming in; it’s around the age of five. But parents, there’s good news: most children lose interest in thumb sucking long before five years old. So, you must handle it if your child is not one of them.

Parents, you should know this. Based on studies of older thumb suckers, it explained that there is one thing in common: all older thumb suckers were all persuaded by their parents to stop sucking their thumbs at an early age.

So, before your child permanent front teeth start to come in, you can allow this habit. Let’s say that you have seen your child’s permanent front teeth, but your child still continues sucking her thumb. It’s the proper time to stop the habit. I’ll share here the tips in another post.

Data source:babyzone.com
Image source: parentszone.com

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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