Some Dos & Don’ts For Discouraging Thumb Sucking

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Generally speaking, most pediatric specialists agree that it’s perfectly normal for children of a certain age to suck their thumbs as a self-soothing method. But if you’re starting to wonder if it’s time for your child to stop their thumb sucking habit, call North Bay Dental at 262-417-7326 to book a consultation with us to learn some strategies you should try and others you should avoid.

We treat patients of all ages – including the littlest smiles in your family – to a variety of dental options at our Racine, WI dentist office. Whether it’s time to book your child’s first dental visit or they’ve been to the dentist multiple times for pediatric dentistry already, we are happy to provide the gentle, kid-friendly care that your child deserves.

We’re always happy to help parents encourage and foster good oral health and hygiene habits in their kids, but February, in particular, is a prime time for this sort of education because it is National Children’s Dental Health Month. For a family dentistry consultation during which you can learn a whole bunch of things about keeping little smiles healthy and beautiful, visit us today.

You can put your trust in our skills as so many other parents have before you. We are proud to have been rated number one out of 63 area dentist by We have extensive experience and know-how. For example, one of our dentists, Dr. David Reesman, has over four decades of experience in the dental field.

At your request, we can conduct an insurance check completely free of charge. This will help you anticipate the actual cost of care so you’ll know what to expect. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be happy to know we accept a variety of payment options, including third-party financing from CareCredit and in-house payment plans.

So you can more easily work your family’s dental appointments into your hectic schedule, we offer some morning and evening hours that many other dentists don’t. We stay late until 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays and also open early at:

  • 8:00 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays
  • 7:30 a.m. on Fridays
  • 7:00 a.m. on Tuesdays

Get Some Tips To Wean Your Kid Off Thumb Sucking

For the most part, your infant or young child sucking their thumb isn’t a big deal. In fact, many babies suck their thumb in the womb! But if your child is still sucking their thumb at the age of four, you should probably start finding ways to wean them off the habit, as suggested by the American Dental Association.

If your kiddo continues sucking their thumb past a certain age, they could be affecting the healthy development of their teeth and mouth. In some cases, when children maintain the habit past the time they should, they may develop various issues, including:

  • Crooked or misaligned teeth
  • An overbite or underbite
  • Speech problems

We can discuss your particular child’s case with you during a dental visit, but today, we’ll provide some general strategies that may be helpful. Obviously, you have good intentions when trying to help your child stop sucking their thumb, but if you are doing any of the following, please STOP:

  • Being confrontational and aggressively criticizing the habit
  • Prohibiting your child from sucking their thumb if they are injured or otherwise traumatized
  • Applying products that taste horrible to discourage the thumb sucking habit
  • Forcing your child to wear a glove or mitten while sleeping to prevent the habit

Generally speaking, you want to be encouraging rather than critical, supportive rather than negative. Here are a few strategies that will likely help your kid break their habit of sucking their thumb and fingers:

  • Set up boundaries for when your child can suck their thumb, limiting it to home or even their bedroom in particular
  • Talk to your child about their habit and be open to them talking to you about it
  • Encourage self-awareness by pointing it out when your child is sucking their thumb (they may not even be aware they’re doing it)
  • Use creative ways to show your child they’re growing up and won’t suck their thumb forever (pointing to one of your child’s role models is a good method here)
  • Be patient and remember that your child will eventually stop sucking their thumb

Get professional tips to help your kiddo break the thumb sucking habit! To book at North Bay Dental, call 262-417-7326, swing by our Racine, WI dentist office in person, or use our online form.

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