How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use in Kids |

How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifier Use in Kids

Discover tips and tricks from the experts at Dr. Dina's Pediatric Dentistry Clinic

Posted on

14 January 2019

Last updated on 17 January 2019
How to Stop Thumb Sucking and Pacifiers in Kids

Whether it’s their thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects, sucking helps babies feel secure and happy.

Young children may also suck to soothe themselves. Since thumb sucking is relaxing, it may help them fall asleep.

When Should It Stop?

Usually kids stop sucking their thumbs between 2 and 4 years old, or by the time the adult front teeth are ready to break through their gums.

After your kid’s permanent adult teeth come in, sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of their mouth and teeth alignment.

Vigorous thumb sucking may also cause problems with baby teeth. If you notice changes in your kid’s baby teeth, please talk to your dentist.

Using pacifiers at a later age can be as much of a problem as sucking fingers and thumbs, but it’s usually an easier habit to break.

SEE ALSO: Oral Hygiene New Year's Resolutions

Tips to Stop Thumb Sucking

  • Praise your kids for not sucking their thumbs. Don’t scold them for sucking them.
  • Children often suck their thumbs when they feel insecure or need comfort. Focus on why your child is anxious and comfort your child.
  • For older kids, involve them in choosing how to stop. Your dentist can offer encouragement to your kids and explain what might happen to their teeth if they don’t stop sucking their thumbs.
  • If these tips don’t work, remind your child of their habit by bandaging the thumb or putting a sock on the hand at night.
  • Your dentist or doctor recommends the use of a mouth appliance to help the child stop.


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