Saturday , December 10 2016

WHY KIDS ARE THUMB – SUCKING AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

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Kids like sucking their thumbs because it calming and comforting; many babies do it even before they are born in the womb. Kids turn to their thumbs when they are scared, tired, sick, sleepy or adjusting to new changes like when starting preschool.

Experts say kids can safely suck their thumbs without causing damage to the alignment of their jaws or teeth until the appearance of their permanent teeth around age six.

Take into consideration that all thumb- sucking is not equally harmful; the tongue’s thrust and sucking intensity are the main cause for deforming teeth and the need for braces in future. Children who suck aggressively are more likely to have dental problems later on.

You need to observe your kid’s technique if they suck vigorously, you better start curbing this habit earlier. If you observe any change in their teeth and if you are not sure whether or not your kid’s thumb- sucking is causing damage, it is better to consult a dentist. If your kid’s thumb becomes chapped or red from sucking, apply a moisturizer while they are asleep – not when they are awake because it will end up in their mouth.

Many children stop sucking their thumbs on their own between 2 & 4 years old, however this habit may continue longer with some kids but pressure from their peers make them eventually stop. Punishing or nagging your kid is not the solution; pressuring your child to stop can increase this urge. Some parent would try putting a bandage on their child’s thumb, but this seems unjust.

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The best way out is to find other ways to comfort or distract them with a substitute activity like finger puppets or a rubber ball to play with. The key is to divert your kid’s attention through providing an alternative.

KIDS ARE THUMB- SUCKING AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

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