13 answers

Thumb Sucking - Hurst, TX

While still digesting and acting on my other question, I have yet another to put to the test. I've never delt with thumb sucking and my almost four year old is still doing it. You all have such good ideas, I thought I'd put the question out there. Mostly when she is tired, but this one has sucked her thumb since being born. What worked for you?

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I hate to be the negative one here, but I was a thumb sucker from birth and no matter what my mom did (and believe me, she tried some SCARY things!!), I didn't completely stop until I was around 12 (I did it mostly in my sleep). Anyway, it did affect my teeth quite a bit but when I stopped, my teeth moved together perfectly without braces. I have friends whose kids are in that 6-9 range and still do it, too. They've pretty much concluded it will stop when their kids are ready. If you get good advice, let me know, I have 15 1/2 month old twin boys and they both are thumbsuckers - LOL. Have a blessed day!

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I hate to be the negative one here, but I was a thumb sucker from birth and no matter what my mom did (and believe me, she tried some SCARY things!!), I didn't completely stop until I was around 12 (I did it mostly in my sleep). Anyway, it did affect my teeth quite a bit but when I stopped, my teeth moved together perfectly without braces. I have friends whose kids are in that 6-9 range and still do it, too. They've pretty much concluded it will stop when their kids are ready. If you get good advice, let me know, I have 15 1/2 month old twin boys and they both are thumbsuckers - LOL. Have a blessed day!

2 moms found this helpful

We used this with the older two girls when they were 5 and 3. Worked very well discussing these things, showing them what it does to their skin/teeth. They worked toward a reward...now we have their brother to contend with...

The Thumbsucking Plan

Name: _____________________________________ Date: _________________

I suck my thumb (check all that apply):

__at night __in class __at school
__ at recess __ when nervous __ when reading
__ when bored __in the car __ when scared
__ watching tv __during naps __ other

My goal is to:

I want to stop sucking my thumb because:

I will reach my goal by (date):

The people who will know about this will be:

My treasured object will be put:

Rules I will follow are:

Reminders that will be used are:

Things I can do instead of sucking my thumb:

So I donít suck my thumb at night I will:

Things to remind me not to suck my thumb are:

The reward for not sucking my thumb will be:

I will get my treasured object back when:

1 mom found this helpful

I use to suck my finger terribly bad. (I was about 7-8 when I stopped, my teeth were terrible!) My parents got some sort of nasty gel (made for this very purpose) they put on my finger and it dried on. Everytime I tasted it I stopped. This worked for me. Maybe a pharmasict at CVS or Walgreens might know of this type of thing.

1 mom found this helpful

I just talked with our pediatrician about this regarding my 3 1/2 year old daughter. She said to leave it alone until she's 4, but to go ahead and set boundaries on where she can use her thumb. She also said that if you make an issue of it at this age, she'll actually increase her thumb sucking. We attempted to talk about it anyway after a dental visit and sure enough, I started seeing the thumb more than usual. So, we're back to just limiting it to her bedroom and the car.
I tell my daughter that the thumb stays in her room. If I catch her with it anywhere else in the house, I tell her (nicely) that if she needs her thumb she needs to go to her room. There are times Ive caught her taking a "thumb break" when she'll randomly run into her room to hold her blanket and suck her thumb, then come back out and play. (The blanket has the same rules as the thumb -- it stays in her room only). It takes a while to establish the new rule, but if you're doggedly consistent, it will eventually happen.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi!
I am going through this right now with my 4yr! SHe has sucked hers since birth and I have recent;y tried EVERYTHING! The paint on, yucky tasting stuff, sticky tape, you name it! Anyway, recently I've found something that is a success. I loosely wrap sticky tape around each thumb and then I found some rubber finger covers in walmart, and I put those over the top! IT WORKS! She gets a treat at the end of each day if she manages to keep them on! It's been 5 days now! I change them each day and night. I thought it would have broken it, but this morning she sucked it again (in between changing the tape!), so I'm not sure how long I will need to keep this up to break the habit, but so far, it's working!
Hope this helps!
I'd be interested to hear if you get any other helpful advice.
All the best!
S. Romer

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, my second son sucked his thumb from day one, and he would get sores on his thumb. When he turned 2, everytime I caught him doing it, I would gently take his thumb out of his mouth and tell him to stop because he would give his thumb boo-boos if he didn't. He would listen, and then a little while later he'd be at it again, but I was consistent, and enlisted the aid of his daycare teachers, and slowly but surely, the sucking became less frequent, and eventually stopped altogether. He's 5 now and doesn't even remember doing it. Of course, this won't work for all children. I have friend whose daughter sucks her thumb still and she's almost 4. I gave my friend the same advice, but it's not working as well as it did for me. Hope this helps!

D.

1 mom found this helpful

My 2nd daughter use to suck her thumb all the time. I tried bandages and band aids to pretty nail polish on her thumb but nothing seemed to work.I had a chart for days she didn't suck her thumb she would get a stamp or sticker and at the end of the week she would get a same small reward. If at the end of the month she had the chart covered with stickers she could get her big girl bike,but that did not work. I took her to the dentist when she was 2 1/2 and the dentist promised her if she quit sucking her thumb she would get a special stuffed animal. The next day she quit doing it. I was amazed that one talk from the dentist did the trick for her. I did all the tricks but only talking to someone else worked for her and I.

1 mom found this helpful

I sucked my thumb until I was 10, only when I slept, and I am ok. My parents never made a deal out of it. I just was not allowed to do it in public. We all have ways of being comforted and that is hers. I would not worry about it. Also I never had to wear braces, and my teeth are fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there! I wanted to share my personal story with you because I too used to be a finger sucker and also have a 9 year old who still sucks her finger! I sucked my index finger up until the age of 9(which has been 20 years ago). At that time they were just introducing retainers that were permanently put in the roof of your mouth which made it impossible to nestle your finger in the roof of your mouth. I had mine on for 3 months and when I had it removed I no longer sucked my finger. I do have permanent damage to my finger. If I put my two index fingers side by side the one I sucked sways to the side at the tip. My daughters teeth are starting to pretrude out a little in the front and our dentist recommended a retainer as well if she's not able to quit on her own. He stated that once the habit is broken her teeth will probably sink back in on their own. I don't know what your dental insurance covers but I know we will be responsible for 1/2 of the cost of the retainer which will be $328. I know it is expensive and your grand-daughter is only 4 but if in a few years she is not able to quit on her own, I just wanted to make you aware that these devises are out there and from personal experience I know that they work! I hope this helps!

1 mom found this helpful

I have a thumb sucker. She started when she was an infant. When she was a preschooler we did put boundaries as to where she could suck (naps, bedroom, etc)

We realized she sucked when she had her "lovey"...a blanket. So, that was taken away during the day and she could have it back for quiet times.

When she was in 1st Grade (and believe me she was NOT the only one sucking), she asked for help. She really wanted to stop, she put socks on her hands at bedtime. She would wake up socks off and sucking. We bought her a thumb guard which is a flexible plastic shield that fits over the thumb and you put a strap around the hand each night so the child cannot remove it. You have to cut it off in the morning. It is almost impossible to get it off by yourself, though I highly determined child can and will. This is why to do this approach you really need buy in from the child. My daughter wanted to stop , but couldn't on her own. The thumb guard is expensive....I think between $50-$70 dollars. I bought ours online. You also get 3 months worth of straps (all very bright colors). She was much better toward the end of the three months, but still would occaisionally wake sucking. We order replacement straps. Total, it took 4-5 months. A year later she occasionally puts her guard on herself without us asking. She said she still wakes in the middle night sucking sometimes and said she does not want to start again.

You can do a google search on thumb guard and I'm sure you find many hits.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a thumb sucker when I was a little girl and I gotta tell ya, I can still remember how hard it was for me to stop! My grandmother tried putting this liquid that would burn if you stuck your thumb in your mouth...it was horrible and after one time of me putting my thumb in my mouth with the liquid, she never tried it again. We both learned a lesson that day! It's important that she feels secure and confident and she will cut it out when she is ready.

I sucked my thumb until I was about 5 or 6. My mom tried everything...putting bad tasting things on my thumb, telling me I would have buck teeth. Nothing worked until I went to school and peer pressure kicked in. Like your granddaughter, I would suck my thumb when I was tired and did it once at school and of course, the kids made fun of me which made me stop. I still to this day though, bite my nails. I think it's just a comfort or nervous habit that she will outgrow.

I just bought the nail biting/thumb sucking liquid that tastes nasty for my 4 1/2 yr old. The dentist said she's got to quit sucking her thumb because it's moving her teeth. I bought it at the Target pharmacy(they keep it behind the counter). Hopefully it will help. Just passing along the info.
E.

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