Please help!! I need to stop thumb sucking!!

@nikkiwith (1074)
Australia
August 3, 2007 12:40am CST
Please help me if you can. My daughter is nearly 4 and a half and she has been sucking on her thumb since she was in my womb (i have the ultrasound pic to prove it!). Her dad sucked his until he was in his teens, so she has inherited it. Her teeth are bucked and deformed but they are just her baby teeth. I need to stop her now before she starts to grow her adult teeth. I have tried everything! Sticky tape, chilli, garlic, "stop and grow", scaring her with stories and black mail, but nothing is working!! I don't know what to do. I don't want her to have buck teeth, she is such a beautiful girl!!
1 person likes this
10 responses
@Lifeless (2638)
• India
3 Aug 07
I have sm awesome formula for ur daughter to get rid of her habit. Just loosen the belts of her skirts and pyjamas that she wears all the time. This way she wud just get busy in holding up her pants rather than sucking her thumb. It has worked for my cousin and it might work for ur daughter as well... Good luck...
1 person likes this
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Thanks, good advice......but i don't think that will work well, she sucks her thumb while sleeping and watching TV.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
6 Aug 07
I hate to say this but I sucked my thumb until I was 10! Really. And my teeth are as straight as can be. I have the best teeth of anyone in my family. However, there are ways to stop it. There is a special nail polish that apparently tastes awful that can be applied at night or whenever to stop the thumb sucking and sometimes, giving the child a blanket (I had one! lol) or something like a fluffy stuffed animal to sleep with will work. I honestly don't think thumb sucking causes buck teeth. I say this from obvious experience. My teeth were all in, in the front, when I finally stopped that habit and, as I said, couldn't be straighter if I had braces do it for me. It's a really tough habit to break and makes a child feel secure. It's something they almost don't have control of. It's a self comforting thing that can lead to anxiety if forced to stop before they are ready. Of course, I am sure your doctor has tips but try to do it gently rather than scaring her. I tell ya, it got me through some anxious times. I thought I quit at like age 6 but at 10 I would wake up with my thumb in my mouth. I did it subconsciously. Usually kids spontaneously quit on their own though. I don't know what took me so long! Good luck.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
6 Aug 07
Thumb sucking can cause buck teeth. Some people are just lucky and some are not. The dentist has looked at my daughter"s teeth and he said her teeth are bucked because of thumb sucking. Who knows why some people do not get buck teeth from sucking, maybe it is because they do not suck as hard or as much, especially when sleeping.
@wotfpatty (2068)
• United States
6 Aug 07
Thanks for setting me straight. I am the only thumb sucker I know (Who would ever admit it?). My kids never did. I guess I was very lucky then. I can't imagine what you can do since you seem to have tried everything. I know way back one doctor suggested to my mother to tie my hands down at night. EEK! Extreme. Good luck. I hope you find the answer and that you child's teeth come in straight and as they should.
• United States
3 Aug 07
Honey, I don't think that thumb sucking is causeing buck teeth. I sucked my thumb until I was 12. I have always had perfectly straight teeth. My mom tried everything to force me to stop, and it didn't. I just stopped in front of her as I got older. It's a habit that only the person themselves can stop when they want to and are ready. It's more of a security and comforting feeling. Please do not worry so much. She will stop. If the teeth grow in bad, there is always braces. Better that, then an emotional stress..God bless you.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
It is strange, some people can suck their thumb and it has no effect on their teeth and gums, but unfortunately there are people who have these effects. My child's father never had buck teeth either but my daughter has :( The dentist has confirmed that her buck teeth are caused from sucking her thumb.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Oh, and i can't afford braces :(
@raijin (10380)
• Philippines
4 Aug 07
I have a 4 year old niece also, that still sucks her thumb. I also seek advice from other members here before, most of them also told me to put something on my niece's thumb. I find this somewhat inhumane, trying to put chilli or garlic won't help that it can also be dangerous just in case a child might wipe her eyes accidentally using the hand that has something in it.. I think this is gonna be hard issue to settle, as we have to deal with child's emotions and way of thinking. A cousin of mine has a son that thumbsucks also, he sucks his sons thumb whenever the child sleeps. Still it doesn't help, so they are trying to figure ways to seek professional advice from a doctor that specializes with these types of cases.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
I agree with you. I think it becomes a habit and habits are hard to break.
@sunshinecup (7882)
4 Aug 07
My daughter sucked her thumb until first grade. I encouraged her to stop by telling her nicely how babies did that and how she was becoming a big girl. Then I worked at distracting her from it or reminding her not to do so. She got to wear she only did it at bedtime, then finally she stopped all together. Her teeth were fine. Anyway I did a quick search and I found some interesting information on this….. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- http://healthresources.caremark.com/topic/thumb1to3 "Will sucking a thumb or pacifier hurt my child's teeth?" "It's unlikely. According to the American Dental Association, children can safely suck their thumbs or a pacifier until age 4 or 5 without damaging teeth or jawlines. But you'll probably want to encourage your child to stop by age 5 or 6, when permanent teeth begin to appear. " And hear is what they suggest to help it..... "What can I do now to prevent sucking from becoming a bad habit?" "While sucking at this age is normal and healthy, you may want to help your child reduce his dependence on his thumb or pacifier, so that he can give it up at an appropriate time. The key is to notice when and where sucking occurs. If you see your child sucking his thumb and you know he's hungry, suggest a snack. If he tends to suck his pacifier when he's tired, work more naps into his day. Or if frustration is the problem, encourage him to express his feelings. Together, you and your child can find solutions." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Anyway maybe something there will help. The stuff on the fingers, I never did like that idea. To me it wasn't a solution to the problem or the reason. Kids don't suck on pacifiers or thumbs because of the taste, so I liked taking a different approach. But that's just my opinion and I understand all parents are different.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Thank you so much, i have looked into it before and i think i might have actually seen the same information on the internet. Audrey sucks her thumb when watching TV, when she is in trouble, when she doesn't get her own way and when she's sleeping. It has affected her teeth and gums and i don't know how to stop her before the adult teeth come through.
• United States
4 Aug 07
First off, put something that YOU could not stand in YOUR mouth on her thumb, every single time it's in her mouth- you must be consistent. If she understands the word NO then associate NO with this process. Also, each time she does NOT suck her thumb begin an activity or something that SHE likes very much and do not allow her to do this unless there is NO thumb sucking. They love to help back cakes and such. Try to NOT raise your voice or associate anything unpleasant with this so that she looks forward to taking it out of her mouth. Even pepper or something- it will not hurt her and I guarantee she will not want it twice. While her little thumb is wet.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
I do put bitter tastes on her thumb, but when it's applied during the night, she doesn't taste it in her sleep :(
• India
3 Aug 07
Hi,Surprising..does she suck CHILLI or even PLASTERS?? Then the next remedy would be to attempt at something BITTER but not harmful..say the juice of BITTERGOURD for instance.Do not threaten by any means for it may have adverse effects.Do you know of something she does not like or dread.Link that with THUMB_SUCKING & cook up a story so that she dreads thumb-sucking. Best Wishes, & GOD BLESS www.creatingcolourfulfuture.com
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Thank you. Can't say that i've ever heard of BITTERGOURD but i'll look into it.
@Ruhana (129)
• India
3 Aug 07
It is a habit that every country's child do. I think if you wrap finger of your child with clothes then she would not such his finger. Another think you can buy a sucking nipple and hang at her neck with a long thread then she can such this nipple. In our country we hang sucking nipple made by rubber and children suck it when they cannot walk so that to forget to suck finger. Baby's father sucked his finger but what you suck...lol.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Thanks but my daughter is 4 years old. I think she's a bit too old for your suggestion.
• India
3 Aug 07
i also used to suck my thumb till my 1oth class.i dont know how the finger always went into my mouth.i tried hard to stop but its not in my hands.my mother tried every thing like u.but i never change.it should be stopped by oneself. i felt ashame and stooped to suck my finger in 10th. i am suffering now. i am now taking clips treatment for shaping my teeth. try to stop ur daughter as soon as possible. otherwise u hve to pay for tht later.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Believe me i'm trying to stop her but nothing works!! I regret not giving her the dummy (pacifier)
@wdiong (1818)
• Singapore
3 Aug 07
Maybe you could create an environment where she chooses to stop on her own. You can weaken the thumb-sucking habit by distracting her when you notice her thumb in her mouth. Engage her in a way that she uses both hands. Painting something that tastes yucky on the thumbs can make sucking them less satisfying. Commercial products are available for this purpose. Other parents have had success with pickle juice or a drop of vinegar. You might have to switch flavors periodically because people can develop a taste for almost anything. Comments from other people, though, can be helpful. Her pediatrician and dentist can be important allies, helping her to feel that she wants to stop because she is growing up! Having children she respects (and who don’t suck their thumbs) over for sleepovers can also help. If they comment on her thumb sucking, it can be a powerful motivation. If she doesn’t suck during the sleepover, it further weakens the habit. Without nagging or battles, almost all children will stop before age 4 or 5. For the very few that don’t, their dentists can help with sleepy-time appliances and other techniques. One way or another, soon her cuddly habit of thumb sucking will be a flickering memory of those precious days when she was so young.
@nikkiwith (1074)
• Australia
4 Aug 07
Thank you. My child is 4. She sucks her thumb when asleep and when relaxing, watching TV. I have tried putting every foul, bitter tasting thing you can think of, she just wipes it off or waits for it to wear off, or she just sucks on it and gets used to the taste! I took her to dentist a while ago and he said she has to stop sucking before her adult teeth come through, or i will have to spend $5000 on braces!